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Full text of "The annals of the town of Guelph, 1827-1877"

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INTELLIGENCE. 

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TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY, 



Reference Department, 



THIS BOOK MUST NOT BE TAKEN OUT OF THE ROOM. 



Aug- t 



191 1 



THE ANNALS 



01 I i ii- 



TOWN OF GUELP 



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1827 - I8V7V 



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COMPILED UNDKK NIK DIRECTION OF 

O. -A.OTOISr 

EDITOR OF THE Gi ELPH 



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i*" the tre " of ^s ei row > 

ile all is loneliness and waste below ; 
There, as the massy foliage, far aloof 
Displayed a dark, impenetrable roof, 
So, gnarled and rigid, claspt and intemound, 
An uncouth mai;e of roots embossed the ground." 



And when these toils rewarding, 

TU ?M oad ,, la ? cl3 at len e th ^y 1 

incy U call the new possession 
By some familiar name." 

AGNES STWCJCIAKD. 



GUELPH, CANADA : 

HERALD STEAM PRINTING HOUSE, 



I f V 1 7 5 







PREFACE. 



in the preparation of this little work, the object has been to give, as 
succintly as possible, a general outline of the history of the Town of 
Guelph, with some reference to the principal events which have, during 
the titty years of its existence, absorbed the public attention. That 
many matters, which might be of interest to some of the older resi 
dents, have been omitted, will be seen at a glance ; but this has been 
done for what were considered, after careful reflection, to be good and 
sufficient reasons. In the earlier years of the settlement, as is the case 
in all newly settled districts, many things occurred which, under more 
favorable circumstances, could not have happened, and which, while they 
formed fertile themes of gossip at the time, it would serve no good pur 
pose to reproduce now, even if all that is said to have taken place 
could be substantiated, which is far from being the case, in fact, so con 
tradictory are the recollections of some of the early settlers with regard 
to many alleged events, more especially in reference to matters of a pri 
vate and personal nature, that it was felt to be the wiser plan to reject 
the great bulk of these traditions, and to adhere to what could be 
reasonably relied upon as being the truth. Had even this been all made 
use of, the work would have grown to at least ten times its present size, 
and would, probably, not have given so much satisfaction as it is hoped 
will be afforded now. On the other hand, there may be, and doubtless, 
are some things omitted more worthy of notice than many of the events 
referred to, and for this defect it is hoped the reader will show some in 
dulgence, in consideration of the great difficulty which attends the glean 
ing of information relating to times so long past, when few or no records 
were kept of even public proceedings. All that persevering effort and 
discriminating research could do to make the work reliable, has been 
done, and though some may feel disposed harshly to criticise it, the gen 
eral public, it is hoped, will extend to it a generous reception. 

To those of the early settlers, especially to Mr. Robert Thompson, 
Mrs. Keough, Lieut. -Col. fames Armstrong and Mr. James Lynch, who 
is the oldest resident of Guelph. the warmest thanks and acknowledge 
ments are due, and are hereby tendered. Also, to His Honor Judge 
Macdonald, Mrs. Gait, Major Macdonald, His Worship Mayor Chad- 
wick, Messrs. J. H. Hacking, John Smith and A. H. Mowat, of Guelph ; 
Messrs. K. M. Chadwick and VV. R. Strickland, of Toronto, and others, 
for the loan of valuable books and documents, and to Mr. H. W. Peter 
son, County Crown Attorney of Wellington ; Mr. John Beattie, County 
Clerk of Wellington and Mr. John Harvey, Clerk of the Town of Guelph, 
for their courtesy in giving access to the records in their offices. 




ruelph 

the proofs, so that some errors in spelling, &c. have occurred. The fol 
lowing are the principal : 

Page 29 Dr. Herod is mentioned as purchasing Dr. Alling s house, 
lie did not purchase it, it being still owned by Mrs. Marcon. 

Page 29 For " Dr. Allen" read Dr. Ailing. 

Page 117 For "Dr. I loo,l." Councillor in North Ward, read Dr. Herod. 

I age 126 For "}\. \V. Paterson," read H. W. Peterson. 

Page 144 For "Dr. Hewitt." read Dr. 1 lowit, and for " ]. Holliday." 
read T. Holliday. 

1 age 145 For " Schexveigener," read Schweiger. 

Page 149 For " Ma\ 23rd," rend April 23rd. 






TO HIS WORSHIP 

FREDERICK JASPER CHADWICK, 



MAYOR OP GUBLPH : 

DEAR MR. CHADWICK : In issuing this little work, which I hope will 
prove of interest, not only to my fellow townsmen, but to all who are glad to 
see such material prosperity as is evident in the growth of Guelph, allow 
me to dedicate it to you, from whom 1 have received many personal 
kindnesses. 

Believes me, 

Yours sincerely, 

C. ACTON BURROWS. 
GUELPH, April, 1877. 






> . < 

.. 



-OF- 



THE TOWN OP GUSLPH. 



ONE of the many beneficial results which accrued from the war of 
1812, was the increased attention which the people of England were in 
duced to give to the claims and advantages presented by Upper Canada. 
Previous to this the knowledge of this colony possessed by the public, 
and to a large extent also by the Government, at home, was conveyed 
principally through the medium of the limited commercial relations 
which then existed between the two countries, the information relating to 
the physical advantages of this country and its adaptability for purposes 
of emigation, meagre though it was, being confined almost exclusively to 
official dispatches, and limited altogether to the Lower Province. Nor 
can this be greatly wondered at, when it is remembered that even to the 
oldest and best informed colonists in Quebec, the Upper Province had for 
many years been a literal terra incognita. During the agitation which 
preceded the division of the Province of Quebec, which then comprised 
the whole of the country, into Upper and Lower Canada, delegates were 
sent to England to represent to the Government the merits of the case, 
pro and con. The opponents of the proposed change deputed a Mr. 
Adam Lymburger, a prominent Quebec merchant, to represent them, and 
it the bar of the House of Commons he said that the new Province 
would be entirelycut off from all communication with Great Britain, and 
the inhabitants would have few opportunities of mixing in the society of 
Britons. He also said that " Niagara, which must be considered as the 
utmost limit westward of the cultivable part of the Province, was 500 
miles distant, and the falls of Niagara must be considered an inseparable 
bar to the transport of such rude commodities as the land might pro 
duce ;" and. though there were a few settlers in the neighborhood of Pe- 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



troit, " such a confined market must greatly impede the progress of 
settlement and cultivation for ages to come." That this was an honest 
expression of belief there can be no doubt, when it is borne in mind 
that for some years afterwards the mail communications between 
the two sections of country were both infrequent and irregular, some 
times not oftener than once a year ; and, though, in response to 
an invitation published by Governor Simcoe in 1791, a considerable 
number of settlers from New Jersey and Pennsylvania had come 
to the Upper Province, they were widely scattered, and consequently 
unable to take any concerted measures to make their influence felt, 
all the newspapers being published in Montreal and Quebec. Whatever 
accessions of emigrants were gained, therefore, must be attributed to 
private influences, rather than to any action taken by the public authori 
ties, and it is not surprising that the prevailing opinion at home was, 
that Canada was simply a vast field of snow and ice, convenient as a fur 
producing country, and, as yielding some very good pine for masts and 
building purposes, to some extent valuable, but certainly not the place to 
which a man should emigrate to better his fortunes. This was undoubt 
edly the popular feeling at home with regard to the entire country, and 
more especially with reference to what, in official documents were vague 
ly referred to as "the upper countries." The war of 1812, however, 
changed all that, and it was found that during the interval between the 
division of the country into two provinces, Upper Canada had become a 
power in the land. Prosperous towns-had sprung up, and large tracts of 
country had been put under cultivation, disclosing the fact that so far 
from being li a vast solitude," and " a hopeless wilderness," it was in re 
ality far superior, in all its physical aspects, to the older and better known 
districts. This knowledge, however, had not, to any large extent, reach 
ed the people of England, and it came as a sort of revelation to them 
when the true state of the case was announced, which was not till the war 
developed the resources and the loyal spirit of the settlers, as shown in 
the results of their struggles at Detroit, Mackinac, Ogcensburg, Queens- 
ton, Stoney Creek, Chauteauguay, Lundy s Lane, Oswego, and other 
places, where the Canadian militia won laurels which many an old regi 
ment in the regular army might have envied. At the close of the war in 
1815, when many of the British officers returned home, still further in 
formation was published, and the serious attention, not only of a much 
larger class of the general public, but of capitalists seeking profitable 
and secure fields for investment, was turned to the advantages which pre 
sented themselves in this new country. A still further impetus was given 
to the tide of emigration by the developments relating to the rapid pro 
gress of the newly settled portions of western Canada, in the debates 
which took place in England in 1822-3,011 the proposed scheme for re 
uniting the two provinces, and upon the measure, finally assented to by 
the Imperial Government, for raising, by loan, the sum of ,100,000, to 
indemnify the people of Upper Canada for losses sustained by them 
during the late war. 

It was during this period that the idea of forming the Canada Com 
pany, to which so much of the prosperity of Upper Canada is to be 
attributed, was conceived. Mr. John Gait, to whom the entire credit of 
the inception and successful launching of the company is undoubtedly 
due, had for some time been considering the question of emigration to 
Canada as a means of providing an outlet for those persons in England 
and Scotland who, formed a not inconsiderable portion of the population, 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 9 

reduced in circumstances, but too proud, or by reason of their education 
unfitted to take their place in the ranks of the commercial and laboring 
classes; and also those of the lower orders who, though able and willing 
to work, could not obtain employment adequate to the rearing of their 
families in such comfort and independence as was desirable. Mr. Gait 
was a man of unusually keen perception and remarkable constructive as 
well as administrative ability, which, combined with a liberal education, 
eminently fitted him to devise and carry out a scheme of this nature. Be 
had spent considerable time in travelling and had become well and fa 
vorably known as an author and writer on topics of public interest in the 
periodicals of his day. When, therefore, he lirst announced the outlines 
of his plan, he was able to command the respectful attention, not only of 
his friends, but of the Government. He does not appear to have been 
anxious to take an active part in the business himself, for in 1823, tired 
of a life of adventure, he had established what he intended to be a per 
manent home at Eskgrove, near Musselburgh, with the object of devot 
ing his time to literature and the education of his three sons. He had 
not long been there, however, when his plans having received the consid 
eration of the members of the Government, he was sent for by Mr. 
Robinson, afterwards Lord Goderich, at that time Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, for the purpose of holding a consultation on Canadian affairs. 
The Province of Upper Canada was then seeking assistance from the 
home government in liquidating certain liabilities incurred principally in 
carrying on internal improvements, and Mr. Robinson was led to offer, 
that if the Province would guarantee the payment of half its civil ex 
penses, the Imperial Government would satisfy the then existing claims 
against it. Mr. Gait at once directed his atttention to the consideration 
of this offer, and held frequent consultations with friends well informed 
on the existing state of affairs, more especially with Bishop Macdonnell, 
who supplied him with most valuable data. The result of these confer 
ence was to somewhat modify Mr. Gait s original ideas respecting emi 
gration to Canada, and to impel him to take proceedings which eventually 
issued in the formation of the Canada Company, of which he was 
appointed secretary. 

Shortly afterwards he was appointed, together with Sir John Harvey, 
Col. Cockburn, Mr. McGillivray and Mr. Davidson, a government com 
missioner to visit Canada to make a valuation of the upper province, a 
work which was completed and reported upon the same year. A dispute 
ensued on the question of the Clergy Reserves, it being strong!) urged 
that they should be excluded from the valuation, but on the matter being 
left to arbitration between Archdeacon Strachan and Mr. Gait, an agree 
ment was arrived at even more advantageous to the Company than the 
previous arrangement, the great Huron tract being assigned to them as 
an equivalent for the reserves. All disputes being amicably settled, the 
Company was duly chartered, with a capital of ,1,000,000, and prepara 
tions for active operations were immediately commenced, and in October 
1826, Mr. Gait again embarked for Canada, arriving at Little York (now 
Toronto) in January 1827. It was not long before business came pressing 
upon him, in the course of a few weeks nearly three hundred offers to 
purchase land having been lodged at his office. During his first visit to 
the western country he had been favorably impressed with the fertility 
and general character of the country lying west of Lake Ontario, and 
had received some glowing reports of a tract situated a few miles north 
of Gait, which was then a flourishing village. This land having been 



10 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

acquired by the Canada Company, he ordered an inspection to be made 
of it, and the result proving in every way satisfactory, he determined 
upon making this the seat of the first settlement under the auspices of 
the Company. The tract comprised about 40,000 acres, over large por 
tions of which the foot of civilized man had never trod, except in the 
inspection ordered by Mr. Gait, and that was necessarily of a cursory 
nature. It was one dense forest, through which not even a blazed Indian 
path was visible, and the only trace of a human habitation of which 
there is any record, was an Indian hut, long deserted, which the first 
exploring party discovered near to the spot where the first tree was des 
tined to be cut on the site of the present tcv;n. This spot had been 
represented to Mr. Gait as in many respects the most advantageous for 
his purpose in the entire tract, and the result of subsequent surveys fully 
justified the wisdom of the selection, situated as it is on the banks of a 
fast flowing stream, with sufficient fall to furnish admirable water power, 
and being also in the centre of a section of country which for fertility 
and beauty, as well as for natural advantages, cannot be surpassed in 
the whole "Province. 

All the necessary preparations having been made, Mr. Gait set out to 
inaugurate the new to\vn, or as he always persisted in calling it the western 
city. He had been to New York on business for the Company, and ar 
rived at Dundas on his return on April 2ist. At Dundas his purpose 
had been made known, and a number of the residents of that 
town, together with others from Ancaster, accompanied him on his mis 
sion, the party arriving on the 22nd at Gait, where they were hospitably 
entertained by the inhabitants, Mr. Gait being welcomed by his old 
friend the Hon. Wm. Dickson, who owned all the land in that neighborhood 
and who had named the town in honor of Mr. Gait, and in recognition 
of the pleasure the acquaintance in previous years had afforded him. 

St. George s day, April 23rd, had been fixed upon by Mr. Gait as the 
day for the commencement of operations, on which subject he says: 
" This was not without design, I was well aware of the boding effect of a 
little solemnity on the minds of most men, and especially of the unlet 
tered, such as the first class of settlers were likely to be, at eras which 
betokened destiny, like the launching of a vessel, or the birth of an en 
terprise, of which a horoscope might be cast. The founding of a town 
was certainly one of these, and accordingly I appointed a national holiday 
for the ceremony, which secretly I was determined should be celebrated 
so as to be held in remembrance, and yet so conducted as to be only 
apparently accidentally impressive." Early on the morning of the 23rd, 
therefore, the whole party started on their journey, 1he main body of the 
adventurers going forward, Mr. Gait and Dr. Dtmlop, who held a sort of 
roving commission in the Canada Company s service, and rejoiced in 
the high sounding title, more honorable than profitable, of " Warden 
of the Canada Company s Woods and Forests/ following at a short 
distance. Mr. Gait placed himself entirely under the guidance of 
the Doctor, who, having traversed the ground before, was supposed to 
know the way, and doubtless he thought he did. But the most experi 
enced of backwoodsmen occasionally lose themselves in the bush, and 
so it happened in this instance. Scarcely had they entered the thick 
part of the forest, a few miles from their destination, when the Doctor 
found he had missed his road. " I was exceedingly angry," says Mr. 
Gait, " for such an incident is no trifle in the woods ; but after wander 
ing up and down like the two babes, with not even the comfort of a 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 11 

blackberry, the heavens frowning and the surrounding forest 
sullenly still, we discovered a hut and tiding at the pin, entered 
and found it inhabited by a Dutch shoemaker. We made him 
understand our lost condition, and induced him to set us on 
the right path. He had been in the French army, and had, after the 
peace, emigrated to the United States ; thence he had come to Upper 
Canada, where he bought a lot of land, which, after he had made some 
betterments, he exchanged for the location in the woods, or, as he said 
himself, Je swape the first land for the lot on which he was now settled. 
With his assistance we reached the skirts of the wild to which we were 
going, and were informed in the cabin of a squatter that all our men had 
gone forward. By this time it began to rain, but undeterred by that cir 
cumstance we resumed our journey in the pathless woods. About sunset 
dripping wet, we arrived near the spot we were in quest of, a shanty, 
which an Indian, who had committed murder, had raised as a refuge for 
himself. We found the men under the orders of Mr. Pryor, whom I had 
employed lor the Company, kindling a roaring fire, and after endeavoring 
to dry ourselves, and having recourse to the store basket, I proposed to 
go to the spot chosen for thi town. By this time the sun was set, and 
Dr. Dunlop,, with his characteristic drollery, having doffed his wet garb, 
and dressed himself Indian fashion, in blankets, we proceeded with Mr. 
Prior, attended by two woodmen with axes. It was consistent with my 
plan to invest our ceremony with a little mystery, the better to make it 
remembered. So, intimating that the main body of the men were not to 
come, walked to the brow of the neighboring rising ground, and Mr. 
Pryor having shown the site selected for the town, a large maple tree was 
chosen ; on which taking ?,n axe from one of the woodmen, I struck the 
first stroke. To me at least the moment was impressive, and the silence 
of the woods that echoed to the sound was as the sigh of the solemn 
genius of the wilderness departing for ever. The Doctor followed me, 
then, if I remember rightly, Mr. Pryor, ?nd the woodmen finished the 
work. The tree fell with a crash of accummulated thunder, as if an 
cient nature were alarmed at the entrance of social man into her inno 
cent solitudes with his sorrows, his follies and his crimes. I do not 
suppose that the sublimity of the occasion was unfelt by the others, for 
I noticed that after the tree fell, there was a funereal pause as when the 
coffin is lowered in the grave ; it was, however, of short duration for Dr. 
Dunlop pulled a flask of whiskey from his JDOSOHI and we drank pros 
perity to the city of Guelph. The name was chose in compliment to the 
Royal Family, both because I thought it auspicious in itself and because 
I could not recollect that k had ever before been used in all the king s 
dominions." 

Among those who formed the party on that clay, so memorable a one 
for Canada, besides Mr. Gait and Dr. Dunlop, were Mr. Charles Pryor, 
who was Mr, Gait s confidential friend and secretary. Mr. John Mc 
Donald, a practical surveyor, who was afterwards for many years sheriff 
of Huron ; Wm. Gooden, Curtis and Harry Lamberton, Christopher 
Keogh, Stacy and Ira Holden, besides a number of other axe men and 
chain bearers. There were also, as previously mentioned, several gentle 
men from Dundas, Ancaster, Gait and other places, who had come to 
witness the natal rites of the new town, among whom were Mr. George 
Corbet, now a resident of Owen Sound, and Mr. James Mackenzie, who 
now resides in Guelph, who are believed to be the only survivors of those 



12 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

who wielded the axe against the giant tree which first fell by the hand of 
man in the district now so fair and "prosperous. 

On the arrival of the advanced portion of the party on the ground, 
it was found that the Indian s hut would not nearly accommodate them 
all, and as the rain had been falling steadily, they erected a sort of taber 
nacle, of branches of trees, and after the ceremony they returned to this, 
and notwithstanding the storm, spent a pleasant evening in lively con 
versation, and listening to the almost inexhaustible sallies of wit and 
humor from Dr. Dunlop. This gentleman was well fitted for his position 
as a pioneer leader, hardy and active as an Indian, brave even to rash 
ness, and by his irrepressible flow of spirits and love of joking, always 
the life and soul of the party in which he found himself. In early life he 
had served as an ensign in the Spth Regiment, and for several years had 
led a somewhat wandering life, apparently not possessing any taste for 
the quiet enjoyments of the domestic circle. He was never married, 
though, as we learn from Strickland s "Twenty Seven Years in Upper 
Canada/ he on one occasion went so far as to throw up a copper with 
his brother to decide which of them should marry their housekeeper, in 
order that the proprieties might be duly observed. It was arranged that 
the Doctor himself should toss the copper three times, and that he was 
to cry " heads" and his brother " tails," the one to whom the most heads 
should fall to be clear of the responsibility, and he who should have the 
most tails was to accept the blessedness of the matrimonial state. 
Heads turned up each time, and the doctor s brother accordingly married 
the lady, though it is, perhaps, doubful if he woujd have done so had he 
known that in his anxiety for his brother s happiness the Doctor had used 
a coin, which he had picked up somewhere in his wanderings, having a 
head stamped on both sides. Such was the case, and the Doctor was 
perfectly sure, therefore, that he could not be the happy bridegroom, or, 
as he would probably have termed it, the victim. It is said the proposi 
tion to adopt this species of the lottery of marriage was at first made in 
fun, and that the Doctor, finding that his simple and kind-hearted brother 
took it in sober earnest, considered the joke too good to be allowed to 
drop, and therefore allowed it to proceed to its denouement, though, in 
justice to the Doctor, it must be said he knew the lady would make a 
good wife in every respect, as the result proved, for the pair so strangely 
united enjoyed a long and happy liic. It was just one instance of the 
Doctor s love of a joke, which he was ever ready to practice when it 
could be done without inflicting positive injury on the subject. 

The spot where the memorable tree stood is now covered by the 
embankment at the south- west end of the Grand Trunk Railway bridge 
over the Speed. Portions of the tree were preserved by the early settlers, 
rind Mr. A. A. Baker has a table, the top of which is made of a piece of 
it, and Mr. David Allan has a drawing square made from another piece. 
It has been stated that after the tree was felled Mr. Pryor laid his hand 
upon the stump, and stretching his fingers as far apart as possible, indi 
cated the direction in which the streets of the new town were to be laid 
out. Of this, however, there does not appear to be any reliable corro- 
boration, some of lest settlers, who knew Mr. Pryor, asserting that 

it was a compass which lie laid upon it ; and though the direction of the 
principal streets in that part of the town, r;u . as they do from that 

spot, almost in the form of a fan, might be considered as lending some 
degree of probability to the first statement, it is scarcely reasonable to 
suppose, either that a man of Mr. Pryor s well-known intelligence and 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 13 

scientific attainments would adopt so rude a method of laying out what 
was intended to be a large and important city, or that Mr. Gait would 
have countenanced such a proceeding. It is far more probable, as is 
stated by some old settlers who knew Mr. Pryor and Mr. Gait, that Mr. 
McDqugall placed his compass on the stump, and that the streets were 
planned with a view to general convenience, and to secure river frontages 
for residences and mills, as in the case of Woolwich Street, and that 
other streets were laid out so as to converge at one point, where it was 
intended to build the Company s offices, bank, &c. ; and also to leave an 
open space to be reserved forever as a market place. The stump was 
by order of Mr. Gait, neatly fenced round by Major Strickland in 1828, 
and the top being levelled and planed, the cardinal points of the compass 
were chiselled thereon, and a sun dial was placed upon it, serving, for 
many years, as a town clock. It stood as a memorial of the foundation of 
the town, and was held in the highest veneration by the early settlers, 
until about 1843, when it gradually disappeared from decay. 

On the morning of the 24th, those gentlemen who had come from a 
distance to be present at the foundation of the new town, took their 
departure, and Mr. Gait and his men at once set to work to build shanties 
^br themselves, and for the temporary accommodation of those settlers 
who might soon be expected to arrive, upwards of 160 building lots hav 
ing already been engaged, and during the whole of that summer houses 
were built as fast as materials could be provided. One of the first neces 
sities was the building of a house for Mr. Gait, where the business of the 
Company might be transacted, and a shed or storehouse for provisions 
and for other purposes incident to the settlement of a new town. 

The first few weeks were spent almost exclusively in chopping and 
logging, the clearances being principally on the Market Square and east 
ward to Waterloo Street as far as Gordon Street, where, for" several years 
the business portion of the town was situated, only a few straggling houses 
being built on the west side for a considerable time afterwards. As the 
trees were cut, shanties and log houses were built, the first commenced 
being the Priory, which, though not altogether finished until the spring 
of 1828, was occupied by Mr. Gait from the first. The house which i~s 
beautifully situated on the south bank of the river Speed, was built of 
squared logs, was large and commodious, and with the rustic porch pre 
sents a very fair appearance, though somewhat rou^h, imitation of Ionic 
architecture, and stands to this day as a witness of the practical skill and 
artistic taste of Mr. Gait, who drew the plans and superintended the 
work. 

During the visit of Mr. Gait, to New York in the spring, before coir- 
mg to Guelph, he had through Mr. Buchanan, the British Consul engaged 
a blacksmith, named John Owen Lynch* who; with his family arrived 
here m May. At that tune a number of shanties had been "built but 
none of them were large enough to accommodate this family, so that a 
house of elm logs, was soon built for them, on the lot now occupied by 
Mr F. W. Stone s store on Gordon Street, the blacksmith s shop beine 
built m the rear, a low log structure, used now by Mr. Stone as a stable" 
Inis house was of considerable dimensions, and was shared by Jas Mc 
Cartney, brother-in-law of J. O. Lynch. The next house, other than the 
shanties, was built on the site now occupied by Mr. G. Lees packino- 
house, anal was used as a tavern kept by Philip Jones, who remained here 
about two years, when he removed into Woolwich. Then a lar-e loo- 
house was built on the site of the present Fountain Hotel, by a mail 



14 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

named Lamport, after which several other houses were built by the 
Canada Company for mechanics who had been sent from New York. 
These men were Thos. Stewart, shoemaker, Wm. Gibbs, baker, who 
started the first bakery in the town, Wm. Holmes, wagon maker, Wm. 
Collins, carpenter, and Jas. Anderson, also a carpenter, brother-in-law of 
Collins, with whom he lived. All these houses were in the immediate 
neighborhood of Gordon and Surrey Streets, one on each corner, Holmes 
being on the lot where Sole & Johnston s bakery now is. Another black 
smith, named McGarr, soon afterwards arrived as assistant to Lynch, 
his house being built on Gordon Street between Holmes and the corner 
of Waterloo Street. On the site of the stone building lately used as a 
Central School, a carpenter named John Williams built a house, which 
he afterwards sold to a tailor named Joseph Croft, who lived there about 
five years. About this time a tavern was opened in one wing of the 
Priory, by a man named Reid, who removed, with Major Strickland, to 
Goderich, in 1828. At this time settlers began to arrive in large num 
bers, and houses were rapidly put up in all directions. Among those 
who purchased lots from the Company, and arrived here during the sum 
mer, as appears from the books of the Canada Company, were the follow 
ing : 

Lot i. Jas. D. Oliver. August 11. 

2. Allan McDonnell. August 12. 

" 3. Alex. S. Elder. May 20. 

" 4. Thos. Leigh. 

5. Thos. Kelly. " 31. 

" 6. Aaron Anderson. " 15. 

" 8. Edward Worswick." 27. 

" 9. Nancy Riffe. " 27. 

" 10. Bernard McTague " 31. 
"11. do do 

" 12. Tas. Thompsoa. 

" 13. Ja. McLevy. 

" 14. Robt. McLevy. ; 27. 

" 15. David Gilkison. " " 

" 1 6. Ctvis. Boynton. " 17. 

" 17. Philip Jones. 

" 19. Andrew McVean. " 19. 

" 20. Wm. Elliott. u 1 6. 

" 21. Wm. Leaden. " " 

" 22. do " 1 6. 

" 23. Win. Reid. 

" 24. James Smith, jr. " 28. 

" 25. Geo. Abbott. June i. 

" 27. Geo. Dobbies. May 19. 

" 29. Wm. Reid. " 16. 

" 35. Thos. Butler. June 2. 

" 42. Jas. Corbet. * July 10. 

" 47. Geo. Whiteside. June 9. 

" 53. Win. Goodwin. " 2. 

" 71. Chas. Armstrong. Aug. 12. 

Of these, it may be mentioned that J. D. Oliver built the first stone house 
in the town, in consideration of which the Company gave him a free deed 
of his lot ; David Gilkison built the first frame house and store ; Chas. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPIL 15 

Boynton built a large frame house, which he soon afterwards turned into 
an hotel, and Philip Jones, as before stated, built a tavern of round logs. 

Another party of emigrants arrived later in the summer, and being 
mostly farmers, they settled on what has since been known as the Scotch 
Block, on the Elora Road. Among them were, Alex. McTavish, Donald 
Gillies, Alex. Reid, McFie, Peter Butchart, Angus Campbell, Holli- 
day, Joseph McDonald, Capt. McDonald, (who was an uncle of the present 
Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, and who died a few years ago upwards 
of ninety years of age,) Jas. Stirton, Jas. McQuillan, Wm. Patterson, 
Rose, McCrae, John Denn, Jas. Mays, Thos. Knowles, Thos. Daly, 
the Kennedys, (three families), M. Sweetnam, and others, most of whom, 
however, afterwards sold out, when they had made some improvements, 
and removed elsewhere, a practice which was far too prevalent at that 
time, and, though it often placed a little ready money in the hands of 
those who sold their farms, rarely resulted in the improvement of their 
condition ; while, on the other hand, all of those who retained the farms 
they themselves had cleared, afterwards became more or less wealthy, 
and many of them v/ere in after years able to purchase eligible land in 
other places. A third party arrived at about the same time, and settled 
in the Paisley Block, among whom were Jno. Inglis, Jno. Laidlaw, J. 
McCorkindale, Drew, Campbell, Alexander, Gideon Hood, Wm. Hood, 
Thos. Hood, Boyd, McKersie, John Speirs, Thos. Jackson, John Jack 
son, Joseph Jackson, Wm. Jackson, and Geo. Jackson, most of whom 
became wealthy and influential citizens. Most of these early settlers had 
families, and the sons of some of them have since held prominent posi 
tions in the various councils and in the legislative halls of the country. 

Recognizing the importance of educational facilities in a newly con 
stituted community, Mr. Gait had stipulated that half the price of the 
building lots should be appropriated for the endowment and maintenance 
of a school, undertaking that the Company should advance the necessary 
funds to build the school house, to be repaid gradually from the proceeds 
of the sales of lots. But during the first year the people were so fully 
occupied in clearing their land and raising their own houses, that nothing 
could be done in building a school house, especially as it was Mr. Gait s 
intention that it should be a substantial stone structure, which could not 
be built in a few days. In June, therefore, he erected a shed, adjoining 
the Priory, since removed, and a school was opened, under the charge of 
an American named Davis, who appears to have been a fair type of the 
dominie of the period, whose intellectual acquirements did not go much 
beyond the " Three Rs," and who had a deeply rooted conviction that 
there was no better mode of instilling knowledge into the minds of the 
rising generation than by the medium of a good sound birch rod; or at 
least, that when all other means of enlightening the youthful mind had 
failed, that was certain to accomplish the desired result ; and so zealous 
does he appear to have been in the application of this elevating theory, 
that he was on several occasions in danger of having it practically tested 
on his own person, at the hands of some of the English and Scotch set 
tlers, who entertained the absurd notion that the best way ol reaching 
the brain was not by corporeal punishment, and that blistering both 
hands was not the surest method of drawing out the intellectual faculties 
of a child. Mr. Gait, strangely enough, being of the same way of think 
ing, and not holding a very high opinion of the mental capacity of Mr. 
Davis, was not long in dispensing with his valuable services, and pend 
ing the opening of the new school house, several of the more intelligent 



16 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF 6UELPH. 

of the settlers wives were induced to open private schools, and it is said 
some of them were fairly successful. 

In May Mr. J. O. Lynch imported into the settlement a mare, which 
being the only horse owned within a radius of fourteen miles, had work 
enough to do. He also brought a cow, the first seen in the town. Mr. 
J. D. Oliver, later in the year, brought a team of horses, which relieved 
the poor mare very considerably, otherwise she would soon have fallen a 
martyr to the cause of civilization, for, though she was in admirable con 
dition when she arrived, overwork in a few months had reduced her to a 
mere frame, useful only as an anatomical study. 

Having finished houses and shanties sufficient to temporarily accom 
modate the immigrants, Mr. Gait next turned his attention to building 
additional storehouses and sheds for the Company, and then commenced 
the erection of the Market House. This was situated about midway 
between what are now known as Huskisson and Neeve streets, on a spot 
now traversed by the Grand Trunk Railway. The building consisted of 
twelve sets of double posts of squared timber, supporting a cottage roof, 
and was in size about 40 x 50 feet. It was open on all sides, and the 
floor was raised about 18 inches, with steps all round, formed of squared 
logs. The whole was surmounted by a flagstaff, from which the British 
ensign floated on gala days. This building, though called a market 
house, and used as such, so far as there was any business to be transact 
ed, was erected more for the purpose^of holding public meetings and as a 
rendezvous for the people, where they might meet and discuss all they 
knew for newspapers were scarce and mails inijequent of the politics 
and public affairs of England and Canada. 

About this time, finding that the distance between York and Guelph, 
by the circuitous route by way of Dundas and Gait, the only road at that 
time opened, was productive of serious inconvenience in purchasing and 
forwarding supplies, Mr. Gait determined upon establishing a depot at 
the head of Lake Ontario, so that supplies could be brought so far by 
water, and accordingly applied to the Government for a grant of land in 
that locality for that purpose. In reply he was requested to select what 
he considered a suitable spot, and he accordingly chose a plot of about 
three acres on the banks of the canal which was then being constructed 
to connect Burlington Bay with the lake, a piece of land which Mr. Gait 
says was, in his opinion, among the most valuable in the whole Province. 
It fronted on the canal, and on the right was Burlington Bay and on the 
left Lake Ontario, a situation, than which, for the purpose contemplated, 
none could have been more eligible. One of the principal reasons in 
view in taking this step was, that in order to encourage the immigration 
oi farmers, arrangements were made by which the land taken up, and 
the necessary supplies of provisions and farming implements, could be 
paid for in produce, which, together with consignments taken for sale on 
commission, would have to be transported to York or some of the lake 
ports on the American side, for which a shipping depot would prove of 
great advantage. The calculation was that the profits derivable from 
such a trade would not only defray all expenses, but leave a handsome 
profit to compensate for the money taken out of the country by the opera 
tions of the Canada Company. While engaged in making these prepa 
rations. Mr. (/nit was surprised by the arrival of a large party of immi 
grants, forwarded from New York by Mr. Buchanan, the British Consul. 
These people, fifty-seven in number, had been sent to La Guayra, or 
Caracas, in South America, by the Colombian Company, and had found 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 17 

that the glowing pictures of prosperity drawn by the agents in England, 
by which they had been lured away from their homes, and the almost 
immediate achievement of wealth and position which had been promised 
them, were all a delusion, and when, by the influence of the English 
officials, they were enabled to reach New York, they were in the most 
destitute condition. Mr. Buchanan, knowing that the Canada Company 
had established a settlement in Canada, and misconceiving the nature of 
the enterprise, forwarded them to Mr. Gait, and they were on their way 
to Guelph when he met them at his new depot. This put him in a posi 
tion of great difficulty, his authority not extending to the reception of any 
immigrants who were not in a position to take up land, and still less to 
relieving a party of people who were practically paupers, though, but for 
their poverty, they might be more desirable immigrants than many who 
were fortunate enough to possess large means. That they should have 
been sent to the care of the Government there can be no doubt, but here 
they were, on his hands, and they had to be provided for in some way. 
Many of them were women and children, who, as a result of their short 
residence in the unhealthy climate of South America, and the privations 
they had endured while there and on board ship, were in a very weak 
and sickly condition, and prompt action for their relief had to be taken, 
and after doing what the limited means at his disposal would permit for 
alleviating their distress, he forwarded them to Mr. Pryor at Guelph. 
Upon their arrival the men were set to work, but their strength had be 
come so reduced by want and suffering that they could not earn sufficient 
to maintain their families, so that it was absolutely necessary to supple 
ment their earnings with advances from the Company s funds. Though 
these people had been sent to him, and from motives of humanity, he 
had received them and supplied their wants, he considered they were 
legitimately a charge on the Government, and so retained in his hands a 
portion of the sum then due by the Company to the Government until 
the matter could be adjusted. The receiver-general at York, however, 
informed him that his retention of this money would seriously embarrass 
him in his financial affairs, and it was therefore agreed that the whole of 
the. Company s liabilities should be paid up, with the understanding that 
the matter should receive a fair investigation and settlement. From the 
first inception of the Company, there had been many interested persons, 
both in England and in this country, who had been opposed to it, and 
some also to whom Mr. Gait had, for some unexplained reason, become 
personally obnoxious, and these persons lost no opportunity in fomenting 
discord between the Company and the Government, and between Mr. 
Gait and the Company, and in a very short time he learned that this cir 
cumstance had been so misrepresented in London, that the Directors 
were almost inclined to censure him for what had been construed by his 
enemies into a slight on the local government, and soon afterward s he 
received from the Directors a communication which almost amounted to 
a reprimand. In the interim, the new arrivals had regained their health 
and strength, and by their thrift and industry had shown that they were 
likely to become most desirable settlers. Mr. Gait had therefore allotted 
to each of them fifty acres of land, at the usual price, and in considera 
tion of their previous sufferings and present poverty had waived the first 
payment, with the understanding that they were to pay the full amount 
due at some future time, with six per cent, interest on the amount due, 
and on whatever was advanced to meet their necessities; a contract which 
was rigidly adhered to by them, all of them ultimately paying the full 



18 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

amount of their liabilities, ^nd many of them becoming wealthy and pros 
perous farmers and tradesmen, alike an honor and a source of strength 
to the community. Mr. Gait at once wrote to England, defending the 
course he had taken, and explaining the real facts of the case, when the 
matter dropped. 

Still the malcontents were on the alert to find some means by which 
they might injure him in the estimation of the Company, and the next 
thing was to inflame the minds of the stockholders on account of the 
large amounts he was expending in carrying on the operations of the 
Company in the new settlement, and the heavy expenses incurred in the 
working of its affairs, which was represented as being the reason why 
the profits of the Company were not larger, which it was asserted they 
ought to have been. Now, that the operations of the Company during 
the few months the settlement had been established were on a somewhat 
extensive scale, and, viewed by the light of subsequent events, perhaps a 
little extravagant, there can be no doubt ; but considering the magnitude 
of the scheme in contemplation, and the amount invested, it was neces 
sary that the work should, to some extent at least, be in proportion, so 
that the returns should soon correspond with the investments. That 
there were some items of expense for work which might have been de 
ferred he did not deny, but he was working more for the future than for 
the present, and in his opinion nothing could be more satisfactory than the 
state of affairs as they then existed, everything presenting a degree of 
prosperity which even he had been hardly prepared to anticipate. This 
matter was also clearly explained, and everything seemed likely to run 
smoothly on, when in a very short time another- storm arose, which gave 
him some trouble. The name of the town had been selected, as has 
before been stated, as an expression of loyalty to the royal family, and 
because there was no other place of the same name in the Empire. 
That trouble could arise out of so comparatively insignificant a thing as 
the mere name of a place never for a moment occurred to him, but it 
was made the means of giving him not a little annoyance, for his enemies 
in England, ready to snatch at any trifle by which they might do him an 
injury, magnified this into an intentional slight to one of his warmest 
friends, Lord Goderich, who while Mr. Robinson, Chancellor of the Ex 
chequer, had taken a deep interest in Canadian affairs, and had been 
partially instrumental, through Mr. Gait, in forming the Canada Com 
pany. It was therefore contended that as a matter of courtesy, and as 
an expression of the obligations the Company had been under to Lord 
Goderich, the town should have been called after him. So far, the com 
plaint seemed reasonable, and had the matter presented itself to Mr. 
Gait at the time in this light, probably he would have called the town 
Goderich, but as it was, it did not appear to him to be a very serious 
matter what the town was called, for as he himself said, " A rose by any 
other name would smell as sweet." So strongly was the matter pressed 
at home, however, that the Directors sent him a letter, condemning his 
choice of a name, and ordering him to change it from Guelph to 
Goderich. This he would not, under any other circumstances, have been 
unwilling to do, but he felt that he had been harshly and unjustly treated 
in the matter, and that a degree of importance had been attached to the 
mere naming of the place which appeared to him unwarrantable, and 
feeling also that the question had been raised merely as a pretext for 
injuring him, he was naturally disinclined to concede the point, and so 
replied, defendiitg his choice o f a name, and representing also that, a.3 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 19 



commercial transactions had taken place, and deeds had been given of land 
situated in the Town of Guelph, an Act of the Legislature would have to 
be procured to make the proposed change, but, unwilling as he was to 
alter the name, if the Company insisted upon it, and would send him the 
necessary instructions, he would at once take the requisite stepts to 
obtain the passage of an Act in accordance with their views. This, as 
he expected, put a quietus on this bugbear, and he heard no more of the 
matter, but to show that it was not from any disrespect to Lord Goderich 
that he had chosen the name of Guelph, he called the name of another 
town which he founded about two years afterwards, after his lordship. 

This was not by any means the last attempt made to injure him and 
make his position uncomfortable, for another instance of still more gross 
misrepresentation soon occurred. It was now the month of August, and 
the 1 2th being the king s birthday, and also the anniversary of the forma 
tion of the Canada Company, he determined to celebrate it by a general 
holiday and public dinner. The market house was in course of con 
struction, and the boards were placed on the roof, but up to the nth, 
which was Saturday, it was not wholly shingled, and many of the people 
were anxious that it should be completed for the grand celebration to 
take place on the Monday, and, whether with Mr. Gait s knowledge or 
not does not appear, for no mention is made of the fact in any of .the 
books relating to the time, the work was completed on the Sunday, the 
sanctity of that day, according to the evidence of those who were here 
at the time, not being very generally observed, as is frequently the case 
now in new settlements. On the Monday morning the town was in a 
state of the greatest excitement, it being determined to roast an ox whole 
on the market place, and have a right jovial time generally, in which 
they appear to have succeeded. Ear]/ in the morning four huge posts, 
which remained as a memento for many years, were let into the ground, 
from which, by means of logging chains, the carcase was suspended, an 
immense log lire being kindled on each side. While the ox was roasting 
a large number of guests, who had been specially invited by Mr. Gait to 
take part in the festivities, arrived from Gait, where they had passed the 
night. Some of these gentlemen lived in Montreal, some in Kingston, 
Dundas, Ancaster, Gait, York and other places, among whom was Mr. 
Gurnett, of Ancaster. proprietor of the Gore Gazette, in which he pub 
lished a graphic description of the proceedings. So far as is known, 
however, there is not a copy of the paper containing the report now in 
existence. Among the residents of the town and neighborhood present 
were Mr. Robt. Thompson, Mr. Jas. McCrae, Mr. Jas. Thompson who, 
two or three years afterwards took up the farm now owned by Mr. Sheriff 
Gow Mr. J. Hodgert, Mr. D. Gilkison, Mr. Wm. Thompson, Mr. Allan 
McDonnell, Mr. Aaron Anderson who built a house where the Bank of 
Commerce now stands, but who afterwards took up land on the Waterloo 
Road, by Silver Creek, Mr. B. McTague, Mr. D. Gilkison, Mr. Wm. 
Leaden, Mr. Andrew McVean, Mr. J, D. Oliver, Mr. Jas. Parkinson, Mr. 
John Linclennan who had settled in Eramosa Mr. John McCall, of 
Beverley, Mr. Nicklin, of Woolwich, Mr. John Mitchell who afterwards 
opened a lime kiln and was the Company s valuator Mr. C. Donohue, 
Mr. James Butler, Mr. Stewart Coghlin and Robt. Orr, of Guelph Town 
ship, and several of the settlers in the Scotch and Paisley Blocks, whose 
names have been given, Mr. J. Rife, who had squatted near the westerly 
limits of the township, near what is still known as Rife s Creek, most of 
whom are now dead, When dinner time had arrived the roasted ox was 






20 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

carried into the market house, and placed upon a strong table, where it was 
carved ,and the guests, to the number of about two hundred, enjoyed a right 
royal feast, the many other good things provided for the occasion making 
the menu such as by no means to be despised. That the mode of serving 
the dinner was not the most elegant may easily be conceived, and that 
all the amenities of a modern banquet were not observed may be as 
readily believed. In fact the first thing to be done to lend an 
air ot refinement to the meal, was to provide forks, which each man did 
for himself, by going to the lumber pile and selecting or cutting a suitable 
stick, whitling a fork out of it with his jack knife, which indispensable 
article every man of course had with him, and with which he afterwards 
cut up his beef. Plates being somewhat scarce, and the few possessed 
in the town being far too valuable to risk at such a gathering, each 
selected as clean a shingle as possible, from the pile, which remained 
after the market house roof had been finished, and with keen appetites 
all sat down and enjoyed a hearty meal. "After the cloth was 
removed," toasts were drunk to everybody and every conceivable thing, 
the liquors, of all imaginable descriptions, being passed round in buckets, 
from which each man helped himself by means of tin cups, about two hun 
dred of which had been supplied for the occasion by Mr. Linderman. 
Speeches were made by Mr. Gait, Mr. Pryor, Dr. Dunlop and many others, 
and when these gentlemen left, those who remained continued to celebrate 
the day in an exceedingly hilarious manner, most of them, who had not 
succumbed to an overpowering somnolency, celebrating the night too, 
many of them being found next morning reposing on the ground in the 
market place, in loving proximity to the liquor r/ails, in which conveniently 
floated the tin cups. This celebration was taken hold of by the fault 
finders, not on account of the quantity of liquor consumed, for that was 
a mere trifle in those days, and an indispensable adjunct to such an 
occasion, but because they asserted that the health of Sir Peregrine Mait- 
land, the Lieutenant Governor, had been omitted from the list of toasts. 
Sir Peregrine, though he had always been ready to do all in his power 
to further the objects of the Company, had for some time shown a coolness 
towards Mr. Gait personally, on account of some misrepresentations made 
by envious and interested parties before the active operations of the Com 
pany were commenced, from which Sir Peregrine had formed the opinion 
that Mr. Gait entertained feelings of hostility to himself, and that his 
political opinions were inimical to the policy of the government, especially 
on the subject of the clergy reserves. That this was a false impression 
there can be no doubt, for on every available opportunity he spoke in the 
highest terms of the Lieutenant Governor, both with respect to his per 
sonal character and as a valuable officer of the Crown ; and so far as his 
political opinions were concerned, there is nothing on record to show that 
he ever gave expression to them in this country, and that he never 
allowed them to influence him in the least, in his position as agent for the 
Company, is tolerably certain. On this occasion, as has been testified to 
by scores of reliable persons, who were present on the occasion, the usual 
toasts, "the King "and "the royal family," having been duly honored, 
the health of the Earl of Dalhousie, the Governor General, was proposed, 
with an acknowledgment of the many services that nobleman had ren 
dered to Mr. Gait : after which the health of Sir Peregrine Maitland was 
proposed, Mr. Gait most heartily expressing his gratitude for the earnest 
ness and promptness with which his excellency had responded to every 
application for assistance in the interest of the Company. When the 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 21 

news of these slanders and secret machinations reached Guelph, Mr. 
Gait was natually chagrined, and for a time was secretly revolving in his 
mind the advisability of resigning his position. While he was in doubt 
as to the wisdom of this course, however, he was visited hy Col. Coffin, 
who had command of the militia, who intimated that the Lieutenant 
Governor thought of appointing him to the command of a regiment, and 
requested him to consider which of the gentlemen in the Company s 
service, or settled in the town, he would recommend as officers. This, 
with hints which he had previously received from various quarters, led 
him to believe that Sir P. Maitland had seen reasons to change his 
opinion respecting him, and he was beginning to think the storms had 
blown over, when to his amazement he received an intimation that he was 
to be reprimanded by the Board of Directors for insulting the Lieutenant 
Governor, and in the course of a few days this proved to be the fact, for 
he received a letter from the Company, informing him that Sir Peregrine 
had made a complaint to Mr. Huskisson, Secretary of State, who had 
communicated it to the Directors, and that they, assuming him to be 
guilty of the charge, wished him to understand that they altogether dis 
approved of his course in this matter. Mortified beyond measure at the 
gross injustice of thus condemning him without giving him an opportu 
nity of repelling the charge, he, after due consideration, sent his long 
contemplated resignation to Mr. Bonanquet, the chairman of the Board, 
enclosing a private note, leaving it with that gentleman to lay it before 
the Directors or not, and in his discretion, Mr. Bosanquet withheld it, 
and wrote a kind letter to Mr. Gait, begging him to continue in his posi 
tion, which, as his family were soon expected from England, he was not 
sorry to do ; and so, for the present, peace was restored. 

Up to this time no regular religious service had been held in the 
new town, and the only place of worship within many miles was at Gait, 
and that was only a small, barn-like structure, used as a general religious 
meeting house for all denominations. After the visit of Bishop Macdon- 
nell, arrangements were made for a periodical visit by a priest, but no 
provision could then be made for holding Protestant services. At that 
time the Roman Catholic see of Kingston included the whole of Upper 
Canada, and the pastoral districts were very large and widely scattered, 
the most westerly being that of Niagara, which included the whole of the 
country west as far as Lake Huron. This was the missionary district, 
over which three missionary priests of the Jesuit order had the pastoral 
oversight, and tours were made by them to every portion of it at stated 
times. One of these priests, Father Campion, a most devoted man, a 
personal friend of the famous Father De Smet, who, in his pioneer mis 
sionary labors among the Indians, walked literally from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific, was assigned to the duty of visiting and caring for the Cath 
olic people of Guelph. His district-extended as far west as Chatham and 
Windsor, and it usually occupied him about three months to make all his 
pastoral visits, which he did alone, braving all dangers, which at that 
time were neither few nor small, not the least of them arising from the 
wolves and bears with which the forests then abounded. Travelling by 
dny, and sleeping in trees or caves by night, this devoted man pursued 
his labors, his reward being always fatigue and not unfrequently hunger, 
which were borne with the cheerfulness and resignation of a martyr to 
the high and noble duty to which he was called. In most of the places 
he visited, as at Guelph, there was no chapel, and service was held in 
some humble dwelling, whose narrow walls and low, rough roof, were for 



2 2 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

the time made sacred by the prayers and sighs of the sorrowful and 
devout as sacred as any cathedral consecrated by episcopal forms and 
pompous ceremonies : or else, when the weather would permit, in those 
temples, not made with hands, whose roof was the azure of the limitless 
sky; whose floor was nature s grand mosaic of the emerald verdure, 
almost hidden by the crimson, the gold, the purple and the thousand 
other hues of the flowers and leaves; whose aisles and naves were formed 
of the overarching boughs of the mighty forests, and whose altar candles 
were the watching stars of God. His first visit to Guelph was in August, 
and during his stay religious services were held by him, sometimes in 
the leafy groves adjoining the clearing, and sometimes in some lowly 
shanty, but generally, and for nearly four years afterwards, the services 
were held in the house of Mr. John O. Lynch. Just as he was about to 
leave his little flock the first time it is said after he had mounted his 
horse, he was called back to perform a pleasant duty, the celebration of 
the first marriage in the new settlement. Christopher Keogh, an em 
ploye of the Canada Company, and a fair maid named Kitty Kelly, had 
been plighted lovers in Dundas, and arrangements had been made for 
their union at some future time, when they could be married by a priest, 
but neither of them thought the auspicious time would arrive so soon ; so 
that when the priest arrived the young man was all anxiety to have the 
knot tied at once, but the lady, with maiden coyness, demurred, and it 
was not until the priest was just about leaving that her friends prevailed 
upon her to give her consent, and the expectant bridegroom was just in 
time to stay the departure of the priest to effect the union of two 
loving hearts. Tiiat was another gala day, all-the settlers, from Mr. Gait 
down to the resident of the humblest shanty, turning out to do honor to 
the occasion, and that day, the 26th of August, 1827, was remembered 
for many years as one of the pleasantest spent in the early days of 
Guelph. Christopher Keogh has been dead some years, but Mrs. 
Keogh, Guelprrs first blushing bride, still lives near the town where 
fifty years of her life have been spent, surrounded by her surviving 
children and grandchildren. 

In September Mr. Samuel Wright arrived here and opened a bakery 
on the Dundas Road, near the river. The bakery was in the open air, 
built of limestone, and not being accustomed to such ovens, and, indeed, 
being a miller by trade, not having a very large experience in baking at 
all, he one day heated the oven so hot that he transformed it into a mini 
ature lime-kiln, and it crumbled into dust before his eyes. This was a 
lesson which he did not forget, and in future the heat of his lires was not 
so intense. He carried on his business here with success and profit for 
about two years, when he bought out William Gibbs, the Yankee baker, 
and for many years retained the principal part of the patronage of the 
town. The next bakery opened was that built by R. Parker, on the 
present site of Armstrong s carriage factory on Woolwich street. This 
was a small stone building, detached from the house, and was used as a 
bakery for many years. 

In these early times there was not much need of magisterial super 
vision, but, as much probably as a matter of compliment as anything 
else, in the fall of 1827 Dr. Dunlop, Messrs. Pryor, Brewstcr, Hodgert 
and Col. Lamprey received the Commission of the Peace, to which Mr. 
Strange was afterwards added. Previous to this, disputes were adjusted 
and petty crimes punished by the magistrates elsewhere, Squires Lep- 
pard and Smith being the magistrates in Woolwich, and Squire Ellis, of 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GtJBLPH. 2* 

Fisher s Mills, and Squire Scollick, of Preston, in Waterloo. From 
what is stated by those settlers who were here at tke time, these magiS 
trates courts were conducted more on the priaciplts of equity than on 
the basis of law, the legal knowledge of their worships on the bench being 
of the most crude and limited nature, and their decisions being given as 
the result of their innate feelings of justice and their hard common-sense 
views of right and wrong ; and who shall say that there was not as muck 
even-handed justice meted out then as now, when, through the multipli 
city of apparently conflicting statutes, law and justice do not always 
seem to go hand in hand? When the Guelph magistrates were appointed, 
however, a quantity of law books were procured, and being men of con 
siderable education and ability, they at once assumed a high place 
in the estimation of the other justices of the peace, who were accustomed 
to refer unusually knotty points to them for decision. 

For several miles out of Guelph there was at this time no road, 
excepting a beaten path through the dense primeval forest which lay 
between the new town and Gait, and Mr. Gait determined upon opening 
Up a road in that direction, and the work was undertaken by Mr. Absa 
lom Shade, of Gait, a gentleman who afterwards took a prominent part 
in the public affairs of that town. The road consisted of a cutting up~ 
wards of one hundred and thirty feet wide, and was about seven miles 
long, the whole of the chopping and logging being completed in the sum 
mer of 1829. On each side of this magnificent glade the trees rose to 
the height of about 150 ieet, along the centre of which the high road ran, 
forming an approach which, for beauty and grandeur, was probably never 
equalled, and fully justified the expression of admiration used by Mr. 
Gait, who called it " the glory of Guelph." Indeed it might have consti 
tuted the glory of any city, and in an older country and under other 
circumstances would have been preserved as a boulevard, than which no 
finer could be conceived. In speaking of this splendid avenue, in a 
letter to one of his friends, Mr. Gait says: " The imagination forbears 
when it would attempt to depict the magnificent effect of the golden sun 
shining through the colossal vista of smoke and flames; the woodmen 
climly seen moving in the palpable obscure/ with their axes glancing 
along in the distance. A Yankee post-boy, who once drove me to 
Guelph, on emerging from the dark and savage wood, looked behind in 
astonishment as we entered the opening, and, clapping his hands with 
delight, exclaimed, What an Almighty place! " In again referring to 
this work, he says : " By doing speedily and collectively, works which, in 
detail, would not have been remarkable, these superb effects were 
obtained, They brought to home ; the wandering emigrants, gave them 
employment, and by the wonder at their greatness, magnified the import 
ance of the improvements. This gigantic vision did not cost much more 
than the publication of a novel." This magnificent approach to the 
embryonic town, from the first called the Waterloo Road, was, however, 
fated to be soon marred, the clearings of the settlers very soon making 
gaps, which, however desirable as adding prosperity to the town and 
township, robbed this grand avenue of its beauty and glory forever. 

In the fall of 1827, Mr. Gait received a visit from the Provincial 
Inspector-General, and his old friend Bishop Macdonnell, whom he had 
not seen since he had held those important conferences with him in 
England, which contributed so much to the formation of the Canada 
Company. It was at this time that the site for the Catholic church was 
Chosen, and as a compliment to the Bishop, Mr. Gait at once set men to 



24 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF 6UELPH. 

work to clear Macdonnell street as far as the summit of the hill, where it 
was at once decided the church of the future should be built. Here the 
clearing ceased, except that on the crest of the hill a large elm tree was 
left standing, forming a very prominent feature in the beautiful landscape 
which the place then presented. This tree was about nine feet in circum 
ference at the height of a man s head, and was allowed to remain, partly 
on sccount of its beauty, but more, perhaps, on account of the labor 
necessary to fell it. Not that it was in any way remarkable for size, for 
there were in the neighborhood some butterwood and cherry trees, which, 
according to actual measurements taken by Major Strickland, were, some 
seven, and some eight and nine feet in circumference. Mr. Gait speaks 
of an oak, on the Waterloo Road, which, at the first glance, reminded 
him of the London Monument, an effect of the amazement which the 
greatness of the dimensions produced. He measured the girth, at the 
height of a man s head, and found it to be thirty-three feet, above which 
the trunk rose without a branch to the height of at least eighty feet, 
crowned with vast branches. " This was an oak," he says, " probably the 
greatest known, and it lifted its head far above the rest .of the forest. 
The trees around, myrmidons of inferior growth, were laree, massy and 
vigorous, but possessed none of the patriarchal antiquity with which that 
magnificent monarch of the woods was invested. I think, therefore, 
that I was not wrong in imagining it the scion of a forest that had passed 
away. Had I been convinced it was perfectly sound, I would have taken 
measures for cutting it down and sending home planks of it to Windsor 
Castle. The fate that awaited it would have justified the profanation. 
The doubt of its soundness, however, and the difficulty of finding tools 
large enough to do it justice, procrastinated the period of its doom." It 
was a lew years afterwards cut down for fence rails by the owner ot the 
place, who remarked to Major Strickland on one occasion, when called 
a Goth for wishing to cut it down: " I don t know what you mean by a 
Goth; but I do know, that if I could get a cross-cut saw long enough to 
cut that tree, I would not let it stand there long; for you see it is mighty 
straight in the grain, and would split like a ribbon." 

In the fall of 1827 Mr. D. Gilkison, who was doing a very fair busi 
ness at his store, and who was one of the fortunate ones who came here 
with a little capital, applied to Mr. Gait to be allowed to build a saw-mill 
on the site where Allan s mill now stands, but this had from the first 
been reserved for a grist mill to be built for the Company. The next 
eligible place was on a spot within a few feet of the present mills owned 
by Mr. Goldie, and this was at once purchased by Mr. Gilkison at a 
moderate figure. Some difficulty, however, was experienced in construct 
ing a dam, chiefly from the want of proper machinery and tools, but 
after repeated trials all obstacles were overcome, and a clam, though not 
such a one as under more favorable circumstances it would have been, 
yet sufficiently strong to answer the purpose, was built, and work was at 
once commenced. The want of sawn lumber had been a serious draw 
back in the building operations up to that time, and now the demand 
was greater than could be met, though the mill was run every hour it was 
possible to work. From this time several frame houses were put up, and 
the internal arrangements and fittings of the log houses were greatly 
improved, the doors and partitions hitherto having been constructed of 
such rough boards as could be hewed out with axes. One of the first 
houses built after this, was raised by Mr. Leaden, on the corner of Water 
loo and Huskisson streets, Mr. Leaden, or Captain Leaden, as he was 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 25 



usually called, had served many years in the army, in which he held a 
lieutenant s commission, and had recently retired with a pension ; and 
having a little property, but not sufficient to enable him to maintain his 
position in the society in which he had been accustomed to move, wisely 
resolved on coming to the new settlement. The building he raised was 
of squared logs, and was used partly as a dwelling house and partly as a 
store, in which he did a very good business until his death. The interior 
of the house and store was comfortably fitted, far more so, in fact, than 
it is now-for the house still remains and was a favorite place for the 
more intelligent and better class of settlers to meet to spend the winter 
evenings in discussing topics of interest, and such news as was occasion 
ally brought in. 

Winter being now close at hand, all operations were suspended, ex 
cept chopping, to prepare for which a considerable space had been under- 
brushed in the fall. Most of the men, nearly all, indeed, who were not 
engaged in chopping for themselves, were employed by Mr. Shade in 
completing the Waterloo Road, and in opening the first portion of the* 
Dundas Road, in continuation of Gordon street, by which means all 
were kept busy the entire winter. Mr. Gait, having nothing of special 
importance to detain him at Guelph, and expecting his family from Eng 
land early in the spring, departed for New York, where he was received 
with every mark of consideration, ar.d where he spent his time princi 
pally in making himself thoroughly acquainted with the details of the 
machinery of the colonization schemes and land offices, which he consid 
ered would be of essential benefit to him in conducting the affairs of the 
Company in Canada. He also made trips into New Jersey and Penn- . 
sylvania, for the purpose of seeing the practical working of the new colo 
nies which had been settled in those parts, principally by .the English 
and Germans. Shortly after this his family arrived, together with 
despatches from Mr. Bosartquet, informing him that his resignation hav 
ing been withheld, his duties would continue as before. He therefore at 
once removed to the house at Burlington Bay, where they resided till the 
summer, when they came to Guelph, so that he could give more time 
and personal supervision to the operations being rapidly pushed forward 
there. 

Among the free grants announced to be made at the commencement 
of the settlement, of some of which notice will be taken hereafter, the 
Company promised fifty acres of land, to be vested in trustees, for the 
benefit of the first child born in Guelph, if .a male, and if a female, a 
house and lot, to be vested in a similar manner. It is scarcely necessary 
to dwell on the excitement and anxiety in matronly circles for several 
months, not for the sake of obtaining the fifty acres of land, for that was 
not a very valuable consideration, when land was offered in Quarter 
Sessions at one shilling and three pence per acre, but for the honorable 
distinction which it was supposed would attach, in after years, to the 
man who could proudly place his hand on his breast, and say, with head 
erect, " Behold in me the first child born in this great city !" Three or 
four ladies were secretly cherishing the hope that the honor of being the 
happy mother of this future great man would fall to them ; and who shall 
say what expectations and bright prospects were formed in their fond; 
visions of the future, when, perhaps, the town having grown with his 
growth, the ct$d then expected wquld take his place in the foremost 
ranks of the* men of his day, and perchance preside over the interests of 
his fellow-citizens as the occupant of the civic chair, or even be honored 



26 THE ANNALS OP THE TOWN OF GUEI,PH. 

still more by being selected to represent them in the legislative halls of 
his country. But how often the fondest hopes are shattered and the 
brightest dreams dispelled by unforeseen events; and how frequently the 
happiness we aspire to is rudely snatched from us, when almost within 
our grasp, by the hand of a stranger. Even so was it in this case. At 
the end of January a newly-married couple, named Thomas and Marga 
ret Brown, immigrants from England, arrived in town, and the coming 
struck consternation to the hearts of the ladies so anxious for the arrival 
of the expected little stranger, in whom the hope of Guelph was to be 
centred. Nor were the fears thus excited, as the event proved, without 
reason, for the newly arrived lady had not been here many days, when 
an interesting event was announced, and had there been a newspaper 
published in the town at the time, in that column so anxiously perused 
by ladies, a notice of the birth of Letitia, heiress to the estate of the noble 
house of Brown, would doubtless have been chronicled. About four days 
after this, Mrs. Lynch, wife of Mr. John O. Lynch, presented her liege 
lord with a son not the first, and consequently not the heir apparent to 
the Lynch property but, had it not been for the interloping Miss Brown, 
the rightful claimant of the honor of being Guelph s first-born child, ot 
which fifty acres of land was to have been but a slight and temporary 
recognition. And this was not the worst; for the parents of the young 
supplanter showed such a thorough lack of appreciation of the exalted 
position to which their heiress had been born, that in a few months they 
abandoned the property so generously deeded to her (valued at about 
thirty shillings), that they, one night, " folded their tent like the Arab, 
and as silently stole away," leaving the birthright acquired by the young 
lady to take care of itself, thus treating with contempt the honor which 
others would have so highly prized. And such is life ! The property 
remained unoccupied for some time, when James Carr settled on it, and 
subsequently, by virtue of having paid the taxes on it for a certain time, 
it was claimed and awarded to Mr. Robert Thompson, who owned it for 
some years. Had an application been made to the Canada Company 
for fifty acres of land for Thomas H. Lynch, the first-born male child, 
there is every reason to believe it would have been granted, but no such 
application was ever made by his parents, and consequently nothing 
further was done in the matter. 

In March Mr. Gait received news that one of the agents in Scotland 
had made some mistake in the arrangements for forwarding a party of 
emigrants, which necessitated his going to Montreal, when he heard that 
trouble was again brewing, reports inimical to himself and throwing dis 
credit on the management of the affairs of the Company having had a 
damaging effect on the stock, which was rapidly falling in the market, 
the general opinion, in consequence, being that the Company could not 
go on. Knowing, from past experience, how insidious were tne workings 
of the parties Who were interested in bringing about this result, and how 
easily a slight rumor at that time affected the standing and value of stock 
on the London exchange, in consequence of the many bubble companies 
which had burst, and brought ruin and disaster into thousands of happy 
homes and prosperous communities, it is no wonder that the shock was 
to him, as he says himself, electrical. So far as his own operations were 
concerned, nothing to him could be more promising and prosperous, and 
ha was not long in coming to the conclusion, from what he heard from 
other quarters, that the cry af impendiog fo$\ite nac * been raised, not for 
thfe purpose of actually causing the breaking up of the Company, but for 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 27 

the purpose of affording an opportunity to English speculators, some of 
whom had already acquired a large interest in and control over the Board, 
to effect his recall, and the transfer of the management of the Company 
to the hands of themselves or creatures whom they would appoint. Nor 
was he altogether wrong in his surmises, for on his return from Montreal, 
he found that a Mr. Smith, the accountant of the Company had arrived, 
with instructions to take the oversight of the books and accounts, and 
also take charge of the financial affairs of the Company here, thus vir 
tually placing Mr. Gait in the position of a subordinate, in fact a mere 
overseer. On this subject Mr. Gait says : " His emoluments seemed to 
give a perplexing corroboration to the report I had heard in the lower 
province. They were, in my opinion, greatly beyond an adequate pay 
ment for the duties to be performed, and, as the directors complained of 
my apparent expenditure, I could not but conclude that it was resolved 
to break up the Company ; and that the excessive emoluments of the 
accountant were bait to lure hin out of the way, and enable him to meet 
the exigencies to which he might be exposed when the machination 
should take effect. I call it machination, because I think it was a trans 
action of that nature ; but I confess it did not seem to me to be very 
heinous to buy the stock cheaper, if no sinister means were employed to 
lower the price ; especially as the effects of the Company in promoting 
the prosperity of the province, were, in my opinion, of primary import 
ance. Provided they were to be continued, I did not care who were the 
stockholders ; but I could not think, without wincing at the idea, of being 
father to a wild and ruinous scheme, for such I saw would be the conclu 
sion, if the subscribers were induced to refuse to pay up their shares. 
They were by this time at a discount, but are now (he wrote this in 1833) 
the highest priced vendible stock in the market ; only seventeen pounds 
are paid, and the price with the premium is fifty-five per cent, and there 
has been no change in the system established by me." 

Distasteful as were the proceedings of the Directors towards him, 
and more especially with regard to the sending of the accountant, who 
tacitly at all times, and more positively on certain occasions, appeared to 
assume a superiority in position over him, Mr. Gait determined to carry 
on his work with as much vigor as if nothing had occurred, and not to 
allow anything to interfere with the progress and prosperity of the town. 
Previous to leaving for Montreal, he had given orders for the quarrying 
of a lot of stone, and on his return he at once commenced to build a 
school house. This was a stone building, about 50 x 40 feet, and stood 
on Waterloo Street, a few yards east of the present Grand Trunk Rail 
way passenger station. At the ceremony of the laying of the foundation 
stone of this building, and also of the bank, which was performed on the 
same day, though the building was not at once proceeded, with, eloquent 
speeches were made by Mr. Gait and Mr. Pryor, and a very humorous 
one by Dr. Dunlop, after which various amusements were indulged in, 
the most notable being the firing of cannons, made from beech and maple 
logs, about four feet in length and one in diameter, with a two inch bore, 
and bound with strong iron bands. These primitive cannon usually 
burst at the second or third discharge, not without some danger to the 
bystanders. A few fights brought the public proceedings to a close, when 
the clits adjourned to the Priory, where a dinner on a somewhat 
grand scale had been prepared. Mr. Gait presided, the vice chair being 
filled by Dr. Dunlop, and about eighty guests being present. What fbl- 



28 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

lowed the removal of the cloth it is not necessary particularly to des 
cribe, but 

"The nicht giew on wi sangs an clatter, 
"An* aye the ale was growing better," 

As the "wee sma hours" approached some of the guests grew a little 
pugnacious, and Thomas Brown, the father of Miss Letitia, acting as con 
stable pro tern, was called on to quell the disturbance, and in his 
attempts to restore peace had his hand badly cut by a carving knife in 
the hands of one of the rioters. He was consequently disabled from 
working for some time, and was therefore appointed to the honorable 
position of "grog boss" among the Company s workmen, the duties of 
which he filled to the entire satisfaction of the men. A portion of the 
walls of the school-house still remains, the other parts having been 
pulled down or fallen away when the gravel pits were dug close by. The 
school was taught by a Mr. John Matthews, who appears to have been a 
man of far different character and qualifications from Mr. Davis, to whom 
reference has already been made, his experience having been acquired 
in England, and his general temperament being such as to fit him for a 
teacher. When the school was opened there were about forty children 
in attendance, a number which steadily increased, until, in 1832, the 
number was upwards of seventy in moderately regular attendance. 

During the summer of this year Mr. Pryor was sent, with a number 
of men, to survey certain portions of the Huron tract, and to clear and 
lay off a plot for the contemplated town of Goderich. To supply the 
place of Mr. Pryor, in the superintendence of the out-door work being 
carried on in Guelph, Mr. Gait had, in the - Spring, engaged Mr. Strick 
land, who had had several years experience in bush life, and had acquired 
a practical knowledge of house and bridge building, as well as the usual 
knowledge of woodcraft generally, which made him a valuable acquisition 
to the Company s staff. One of the errors which Mr. Gait had com 
mitted, was in the selection of inexperienced persons to fill positions in 
the Company s service ; men who not only lacked the knowledge requisite 
in leaders of a pioneer enterprise, but who do not seem, with one or two 
exceptions, to have possessed the physical strength and endurance so 
indispensable for such arduous and wearying duties. In Mr. Strickland, 
however, he had found a man in every way fitted for the life of a leader 
of woodsmen, and for directing any operations which it might be found 
necessary to undertake, from the felling of a tree to the building of a 
house or bridge. Having spent several years in farming, both under his 
uncle, in Durham, and on his own account, near Darlington, his agricul 
tural experience was also valuable to the immigrants, who were neces 
sarily ignorant of the differences between farming in England and in 
this country. Being also a man of liberal education and refined man 
ners, he was. a welcome addition to the social circle in the town, and 
soon became a prime favorite. On his arrival he found the town con 
sisted of some thirty log houses, and about as many shanties, a large 
frame tavern building, not yet opened, a store, (Mr. Gilkison s), and the 
walls of two stone buildings, one of which was the school house, and the 
other was intended for the Company s offices. On driving into the town, 
he went at once to the tavern kept by Philip Jones, or rather, as he says, 
by Mrs. Jones, who appears, from all accounts, to have been the " boss 
of the shanty," and to have governed Mr. Jones tolerably well, though 
to strangers she was as pleasant and accommodating as could possibly 
be. On this occasion the house was full, some emigrants having arrived 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 29 

that day, and so, with characteristic nonchalance, Mr. Strickland betook 
himself to a hay-loft, where he slept soundly till morning, after which he 
established himself in Mr. Gait s coach house. For the remainder of 
the summer he was employed in superintending the erection of several 
houses, and in building two bridges, one over the Speed, and the other 
over the Eramosa branch. That over the Speed, where Allan s bridge 
now is, appears from a painting executed in the fall of 1828, to have been 
a very substantial and not inelegant structure, built on piles, the super 
structure being partly of squared timbers. This was a great convenience 
to the settlers, as a good number of farms had been cleared on the other 
side of the river, and the farmers had hitherto been compelled to cross 
on a rude ferry, consisting of a raft of logs lashed together; and as the 
stream, especially in the Spring, was very swift, this was frequently 
attended with considerable labor and frequently also with some danger. 

Among the other works carried on this year, a number of other streets 
were laid out and cleared, including Wyndham street, as far as the 
junction with Woolwich street. A plot on the left of Wyndham street, 
behind the American hotel, was from the first designated by Mr. Gait as 
a burial ground, and on the opposite side, where the Alma block now 
stands, was a triangular piece of land, purchased by Mr. Pryor, and for 
many years afterwards known as Fryer s field. It was bounded by 
Wyndham and Woolwich streets and a line running from about where 
the Court House is to about half way down Quebec street. Douglas 
street was not in the original survey, it not being at that time intended to 
run a street through there, and it was not until the site of the Court 
House was fixed upon that it was decided to open a street to afford a 
nearer approach to it than by way of Wyndham and Woolwich streets. 
A house was commenced for Dr. Dunlop, on the present site of St. 
George s church, and in the following year it was finished. A house of 
much larger proportions and with more pretensions to elegance than, per 
haps, any house within a radius of fifty miles, was then commenced on 
Quebec street for Mr. Pryor. It was of squared logs, and the inter 
nal arrangements were most commodious, while the finish was posi 
tively elaborate, and evinced very great taste on the part of Mr. 
Pryor and Mr. Strickland, who together drew the plans, and under whose 
personal supervision much of the work was executed, until both men were 
called away to other posts of duty, which was long before it was finished, 
so that Mr. Pryor never lived in it, and the work was not finally com 
pleted till about four years afterwards. The whole of the work was 
executed by John and Robert Levy. After Mr. Pryor s departure the 
house fell into the hands of the Canada Company, from whom it was 
purchased by Dr. Allen, who added the finishing touches to it, but not in 
any way altering the original design. It was, some years afterwards, 
purchased by Dr. G. S. Herod, who still occupies it. 

Reference has already been made to a stone building to be called the 
bank. According to Mr. Gait s plans, the office at York was to be closed, 
and all the books and papers removed to Guelph, where all the business 
of the Company was to be transacted. To make this practicable, a 
strong and commodious building would be needed, with fire-proof vaults 
for the safe keeping of records, books and deeds, and for this purpose the 
bank was built. It was furnished with very strong and solidly-built 
vaults, with iron doors, and altogether it might have served for a bank of 
much greater pretensions and doing a far larger amount of business 
than it was probable would he transacted by the Company for many years. 



30 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

It was situated on the site of the station-master s office at the Grand 
Trunk passenger station, and had the plans of Mr. Gait been carried 
out, though it was undoubtedly to some extent a needless expense at the 
time, would have proved of advantage to the town, by bringing many 
people here who would not otherwise come, and by rendering it necessary 
for all the officials and clerks to live here, and of course spend a certain 
portion of their salaries in the place, instead of in a distant town. Before 
the place was quite finished, however, circumstances occcurred which, as 
will be seen hereafter, entirely changed the plan of operations, and the 
head office was fixed in Toronto, and the building was never used except 
for storing a few articles and occasionally as an emigrant depot. When 
Hon. Adam Ferguson visited the town in 1831, this building was pointed 
out to him by Mr. J. D. Oliver, who grimly remarked, "There stands the 
bank that never stopped since it never commenced." 

The produce, especialiy barley, from the farms in the surrounding 
country, now beginning to be brought in plentifully, and the cost of 
transporting it to a suitable market being very heavy, leaving absolutely 
no profit for the farmers, Mr. Andrew McVean determined to build a 
distillery, so that much of the barley could be used on the spot, and the 
cost of bringing liquor of which, it must be said, no small quantity was 
then used might be saved. He accordingly commenced the erection of 
the distillery in August, 1828, on the site of the present oatmeal mill on 
Mr. Sheriff Gow s property, and for about three years did a very profitable 
business, large quantities of his Mquors being shipped to Gait, Dundas 
and other places, more especially west and north of Guelph, where there 
was no distillery. In 1832 he retired from the business, which, with the 
mill, was purchased by Mr. G. J. Grange, who, with two partners, under the 
firm name of Grange, Courtney & Bartley, made some additions to the 
buildings and greatly increased the business operations. 

The increasing business of the town, and the constant arrival of 
immigrants, who, until they could have time to select land, required 
accommodation in the town, now rendered it necessary to provide more 
hotel room, and by the advice of Mr. Gait, Mr. Robert Elders built a 
very commodious tavern, on the lot now occupied by Jackson s organ 
factory. This was soon afterwards purchased by Mr. John Linderman, 
of Eramosa, who considerably enlarged it, and conducted it for many 
years. A few months after Elders had opened his tavern, this being 
found insufficient for the growing wants of the town, Mr. Thomas Keat 
ing, together with his brother Patrick, built another, adjoining, on the 
present site of the Royal Hotel, so well known in after years as the British 
Coffee House, where meetings of all descriptions were held, and where 
many a political battle has been fought out. Adjoining this hotel, Mr. 
Keating opened a general store, which was also the post-office, Mr. 
Keating being the first regularly-appointed postmaster. Previous to this 
the tavern kept by W. Reid, adjoining the Priory, had been used, semi 
officially, as a post office, but now the mails were regularly received 
and made up here, until, Mr. Keating s business increasing, and fre 
quently calling him away from home, he resigned the position, which was 
assumed by Thomas Husband and afterwards by Hume, who held it 
until his death, when the late Mr. R. Corbet received the appointment. 

In the summer of 1828 Sir John Colborne had arrived to succeed 
Sir Peregrine Maitland as Lieutenant-Governor, and Mr. Gait hoped 
that, now that an unprejudiced and impartial man had assumed the 
direction of public affairs, his course would be free from many of the 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 31 



annoyances and troubles which had been so barrassing for some time 
past. This feeling was much strengthened by the receipt of a kind and 
pressing invitation from Sir P. Maitland to go to York on a visit to His 
Excellency, a favor of which Mr. (rait lost no time in availing himself. 
But even from this circumstance, which he thought was to add so much 
to his comfort and prosperity, one oi the most serious embarrassments he 
had yet experienced was to arise. After Mr. Gait had been introduced 
to Sir John, he offered to introduce Mr. Smith, the accountant, who, 
instead of receiving the proposal in the spirit in which it was intended, 
scornfully rejected the offer, and even went so far as to use grossly 
insulting words towards Mr. Gait, the consequence being that a violent 
altercation ensued, during which the accountant threatened to report Mr. 
Gait s action to the Company, and made use of some expressions which 
left no doubt that his mission to Canada had been partly that of surveil 
lance. Mr. Gait, therefore, determined to at once resign his position, 
and accordingly wrote to the Company informing them that it was his 
intention to leave for England, by the first ship, to demand a full investi 
gation of all his affairs before the Board. The accountant, however, 
forestalled him in this matter, for on the return of the messenger who 
had conveyed his letter to the post-office, he learned that that gentleman 
had that morning crossed Lake Ontario, and was then on his way to New 
York to take ship for England. It was, consequently, necessary for Mr. 
Gait to remain for a time to watch over the interests of the Company, 
which he would never leave in the hands of unauthorized persons, and, 
if necessary, to wind up the business. But he still persisted in his inten 
tion of going home, and at once commenced preparations for that pur 
pose, more especially as rumors of the impending breaking up of the 
Company had revived since the departure of the accountant. Soon after 
this, further apparent confirmation of these damaging rumors was given, 
by the Directors, without notifying Mr. Gait, ordering the bank at York 
not to honor any more of his drafts. Notwithstanding this harsh and 
unaccountable treatment on the part of the Directors, Mr. Gait stood 
manfully to his post, and determined, if possible, to save the Directors, 
in spite of themselves, from the effects of the suicidal policy they were 
pursuing. He accordingly sent Dr. Dunlop to Montreal, to endeavor to 
procure money from the agents of the Company, or Irom some of the 
correspondents of the leading shareholders, a payment of ^8,000, being 
soon due to the Colonial Government. No success whatever attended 
this mission, and matters were in a desperate condition, as, if the pay 
ments to the Government were not made when due, the public credit of 
the Company, against which not a word could be said hitherto, would be 
irretrievably injured, and the consummation so much desired by those 
who had circulated the injurious reports, the breaking up of the Com 
pany, would in all probability be accomplished. To avert this, as well 
in the interest of the Company as in that of the town which he had called 
into being, and which was now so prosperous, he took a step which under 
other circumstances he would not have presumed upon. He had in the 
bank ,10,000 worth of government debentures, which seemed to have 
been forgotten by everybody but himself. He accordingly waited on the 
receiver-general, whom he had himself obliged on more than one occa 
sion, and after stating the circumstances, offered, if he would endorse his 
bills on the Company for the payment to government, to hand over the 
debentures as security. The proposition was a startling one, and required 
time for consideration; but, the matter being submitted to Sir John 



32 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

Coiborne, his assent was secured, and the transaction effected in a 
very few days, thus tiding over what was, perhaps, the most 
momentous crisis in the history of the Company, and a blow was 
averted, which must undoubtedly have been felt for many years by the 
entire country. " The bill was accordingly drawn," says Mr. Gait, " the 
honor of the Company saved, and the public officers sheltered from the 
inconveniences that might have attended the sudden suspension of their 
salaries the means of liquidating which were provided for in the pay 
ment." In this way the affairs of the Company continued to be conduct 
ed in a satisfactory manner, only a few persons in this country being 
aware how near had been a disaster which must have entailed the most 
calamitous results, and brought ruin on a large number of families. 

At this time the only medical man nearer than Gait was Dr. Dunlop, 
and as he was frequently away for weeks at a time, the duty of attending 
to the ills and ailments of the settlers fell on Mr. Strickland, who, though 
possessing some smatterings of medical knowledge, could not be expected 
to exhibit the skill of a regularly qualified practitioner, which, however, 
it must be admitted, was, on their part, frequently of the most element 
ary character, and their treatment sometimes of the most incomprehen 
sible nature. On one occasion, in the summer of 1828, a party of 
immigrants had arrived from Scotland, and Dr. Dunlop, being called 
away suddenly on business, went to Mr. Strickland s house, and left a 
message, requesting him to take the calomel and jalap, and go down to 
his house and treat those Paisley bodies with a dose apiece. " What ! 
all of them, sir ?" said the servant. " Yes, to-be sure, replied the Doc 
tor; "they have but just arrived, and have got as fat as pigs on the voy 
age. Some of their bacon must be taken off, or with this heat we shall 
have them all sick on our hands. And tell him not to spare the jalap/ 
Mr. Strickland literally obeyed the order "by administering forty-two 
doses of various strengths to the men, women and children, designated 
by the Doctor as the Paisley bodies. Whether as a result, or in spite 
of, this somewhat rude application of medical science, is matter for con 
jecture, but the fact is on record that there did not occur one c.ise of 
sickness among these people during the remainder of the summer. 

" Shortly after this," says Strickland, " a medical man, a Mr. Welsh, 
applied for a town lot and commenced practice. This gentleman was 
certainly a great oddity. He never had but two patients that I ever 
heard of, and they both died. The settlers used to call him the mad 
doctor, and I believe not without reason. He built a log house without 
any door, his mode of entrance being through a square hole he had cut 
out of the end of the house about six feet from the ground. 1 walked 
over to his place one day to speak to him on some business, and found 
him very busy in his garden, driving into the ground a great quantity of 
short sticks. 1 asked him what all those sticks were for." Why, you 
see, sir, I have planted part of my garden with Indian corn, and I am 
putting sticks down to mark the places where I have planted them. A 
day or two afterwards I met him wearing his coat turned inside out, the 
rough seams and red edging of which had a curious effect. I inquired 
k what might be his reason for going about in such a costume T Well, 
you see. I call this my morning attire ; in the evening I have nothing to 
do but turn my coat, and, lo ! 1 am dressed ; a very capital arrangement, 
and quite good enough for the Bush. Do you not think so ? As far as 
regards economy, 1 replied, it may do well enough, and as you do not 
appear to care about being Irughed at, your plan will answer; and who 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 33 



knows but that you may have the pleasure of introducing a new fashion 
into the colonies ? ; 

Another of the odd characters who had settled here at that time, was 
a portrait and miniature painter, who had travelled a good deal in Russia, 
and could speak the language of that country fluently. He purchased a 
lot of land on the Waterloo Road about a mile out. On the land chosen 
by him to build upon, he discovered a good limestone bed, and he 
accordingly determined to build a stone house, though, unfortunately for 
his plan, he had not a shilling to commence with, and it was not likely 
that he would establish a very lucrative business in portrait and minia- 
ature painting for some years, at least. But to work he went, excavating 
stone, his only assistant being a young- and delicate lady, whom he had 
married in the United States. The fine arts do not appear to have had 
a very softening or elevating influence on his mind or feelings, for it is 
said his treatment of his youthful bride was harsh and cruel in the ex 
treme, imposiug upon her the most arduous labor, such as carrying 
mortar and stone while he was employed in building, and in every way 
using her as if she had been a slave rather than his wife. For about 
three months the work proceeded, when his creditors began to press 
him, and his land being still unpaid for, he found himself in an extremely 
embarrassed position, and there being no hope of his being able to meet 
his liabilities, he determined upon leaving. How to effect this, and take 
what goods he had with him, appears to have troubled him considerably, 
but at last he hit upon a plan which he thought would succeed. " He 
knew that the river Speed, which ran at the rear of his lot, after a course 
of fourteen or fifteen miles debouched into the Grand River, and was, 
from thence, navigable for boats to Lake Erie, a distance of some seventy 
or eighty miles further. He therefore conceived the plan of buildinga small 
scow, large enough to hold himself, his wife, and his effects ; and silently 
dropping down with the current, bade adieu to their sylvan retreat, and 
the great city of Guelph, which, however, he was destined to see again 
much sooner than he expected. * For the first mile they got 

on pretty well, till they came to a jam of driftwood ; over this, with great 
diliiculty, they hauled their scow ; every few yards fresh obstructions 
occurred in the shape of snags, fallen trees and driftwood, which caused 
them to upset twice before they had accomplished the second mile, till 
at last an extensive jam across the river many yards in length put a 
complete barrier to their further advance. Wet and weary, half the clay 
gone, and no chance of proceeding down the stream, they determined to 
retrace their course. This was not easy to accomplish, for the current 
was too swift to paddle against ; so tying a short piece of rope to the 
stem of the scow, he ordered his unfortunate wife to take the water and 
tow the boat, whilst he sat in state assisting her with his paddle 7 . The 
next day the brutal artist left the place, and his wife followed him a week 
after, and so ended a circumstance which furnished a subject of gossip 
and small-talk for many a day. 

Though there was plenty of hard work, and, among the officers of 
the Company, no little anxiety, on account of the relations existing be 
tween Mr. Gait and the Directors, the time was not allowed to pass 
without amusement, and dull care was not allowed to corrode their buoy 
ant and cheerful spirits too much. Many a pleasant hour was passed in 
fishing in the Speed, which Mr. Strickland says was the best stream he 
ever fished in, and for years afterwards it was noted all over the country, 
as we have ample proof in c Ferguson s Tour in Canada " and <( Mactag- 



34 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

gart s Three Years in Upper Canada," as one of the finest streams for 
trout in the whole province. Many excursions also were made in the 
woods, and considerable fun was often extracted from them. On one of 
these hunting expeditions Mr. Strickland captured a porcupine, in con 
nection with which he says: "I took my prize home, and put it into a 
barrel in a dark corner of the store, which was half lull of nails. A few 
minutes afterwards, Dr. Dunlop, as he often did, came in to see me, and 
drink a glass of cider, of which I had at that time some of excellent 
quality in bottle. The Doctor, as he said, used to improve" it, making 
what he called a stone fence, by inserting a small soupcon of brandy 
from a pocket pistol, which he was too much in the habit of carrying 
about with him in hot weather. * Now, said I, Doctor, I know you like 
a bit of fun. When Fielding, the porter, comes in, ask him to go to that 
barrel in the corner and fetch you a nail ; for 1 have got a live porcupine 
in it that 1 have just brought home from the woods. 1 The Doctor was 
mightily tickled with the notion, so. as soon as poor Fielding made his 
appearance, he sent him off to the barrel. Quite unsuspiciously the man 
put his hand in for the nail, and as quickly drew it out again, with the 
addition of half a score quills sticking to his fingers, to the no small 
delight of the Doctor, who greatly enjoyed FieHing s consternation, for 
the porter thought the devil himself was in the tub. Every one who 
came into the store during the afternoon was served the same trick by the 
Doctor, and it was certainly amusing to watch their countenances and 
hear their remarks, those who showed the most anger being, of course, 
the most laughed at for their pains." 

Up to this time no Protestant service had been held in the town, no 
minister having visited the place. The first Protestant sermon was 
preached one Sunday towards the end of the summer, by a tailor, who 
had made a professional visit to the town, and who had the reputation of 
being an eloquent man. It having become known that he was to hold 
service, a large number of persons came in from the outlying districts, 
and the sermon is said to have consisted principally of a relation of the 
preacher s experience, interspersed with some egotism and not a little of 
the " terrors of the law, with which the discourses of the itinerant 
preachers of that day were accustomed to be enforced. The service was 
held in the new school-house, just then completed, and if some of those 
who were disposed to be critical were not greatly edified by it, there were 
doubtless mar.y who considered it a privilege, as being the first regular 
religious assembly in which they had an opportunity of meeting since 
leaving the land of iheir birth; and in a new settlement, if no more last- 
in^ and substantial benefits result, it is a good thing when even the out 
ward forms of religion are observed, as a means of keeping alive a respect 
for religious institutions, and as likely to lead to more worthy feelings, or 
at least, by the recollection of scenes arxl associations thus recalled to 
memory, to prevent that lapse into semi-heathenish indifference invariably 
found in settlements where the forms of religion are ignored. In this 
instance the benefits were soon apparent, for though there is no reason 
to believe that the tailor a worthy and good man, doubtless ever 
preached here again, the people were not long in making arrangements 
for frequent visits from preachers, principally laymen, it is true, and m a 
short time services were held nearly every Sabbath in the school-house. 
The people wete very catholic at that time, and minor differences of 
creed were not allowed to cause strife and contention among them, the 
privilege of being able to assemble together for worship being too highly 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 35 

prized to permit of their dividing on points of doctrine, such as Apostolic 
succession, election, immersion or the final perseverance of the saints. 
So long as the Gospel was preached, however much they might in their 
own hearts cherish the tenets of their different forms of faith and church 
constitution, they were, for the time, satisfied, and consequently, whether 
the preacher happened to be an Episcopalian, a Presbyterian, a Method 
ist or a Baptist, so far as availing themselves of the privilege of worship 
ping together was concerned, it was all one. This harmonious and, 
under the circumstances, most commendable state of tilings, continued 
until 1832, when, as will appear hereafter, they were justified in asserting 
each his own views, and forming themselves into different religious com 
munities, for the practice and perpetuation of the doctrines and forms of 
worship in which they had respectively been taught to believe as most in 
accordance with Scriptural direction. 

In September of this year Mr. Gait received a visit from Mr. Bucha 
nan, British Consul at New York, accompanied by John Brandt, the son 
of the celebrated Mohawk chief, so unjustly stigmatized by Campbell in 
his " Gertrude of Wyoming." Mr. Buchanan had come to personally 
inspect the improvements at the new settlement, and in his subsequent 
correspondence with the English Government, he gave a very compli 
mentary report of Mr. Gait s management, and of the general progress 
of the new town. During their stay, which lasted about a week, the 
superintendent gave a public dinner in their honor, at which upwards of 
two hundred guests sat down, and Mr. Buchanan, in a speech of about 
an hour s duration, spoke in the highest terms of the energy displayed 
by the settlers, and prophecied that Guelph would become one of the 
principal cities in the Province. John Brandt also, in a short but elo 
quent speech, expressed his pleasure at witnessing the prosperity dis 
played on all sides, and hoped he would have an opportunity of visiting 
the place again, when it had grown to much larger proportions than it 
had then attained ; a wish however, he was not destined to gratify, for he 
died of cholera a,bout three years afterwards. 

It being, by this time, perfectly evident that the culmination of the 
schemes of those in England, who had so long been plotting for Mr. Gait s 
recall was approaching, he was busy for several months in preparations 
for leaving. Before taking his departure, he wished to see that every 
thing should be left in such a state that his successor would find no 
difficulty in assuming his duties, or understanding everything in connec 
tion with -the works which had been commenced and carried on bv him. 
tie was perfectly conscious that everything would be made the subject 
of the strictest scrutiny, and that, wherever possible, a distorted inter 
pretation would be placed upon his motives and actions, and unless he 
were in a position to explain and defend his course, a still stormier lot 
might be in store for him on his return to London. He therefore, among 
other precautions against such annoyance invited Mr. Fellowes, of the 
Pulteney Office at Geneva, N.Y., one ot the most competent and in 
every respect reliable men on the continent, to visit the settlement and 
make such a report thereon as he might consider to be his duty, well 
knowing that Mr. Fellowes reputation was of lar too high a nature to 
permit of the possibility of a suspicion that he would be in any way 
partial or unjust in what he said. " After having made an actual survey 
of the lands allotted to the Canada Company, he states to the governor 
and directors that he had the pleasure of expressing his decided opinion, 
that all the proceedings of Mr. Gait, and his superintendent, Mr. Pryor, 



36 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

had been exceedingly judicious, and that the improvements had been 
indispensable, as viewed in reference to the sale and settlement of the 
Company s lands/ He then goes on to express his belief that the sales 
already made had been at good prices and the cash payments larger 
than are usually received from first settlers, and concludes with these 
words Upon the whole, I beg leave most respectfully to state to the 
Company my decided opinion, that Mr. Gait s agency has been con 
ducted with sound judgment, and a proper regard to economy and the 
advantage of the Company ; that his proceedings have promoted their 
best interests ; and I believe that the Company cannot more effectually 
promote their own views than by delegating to him the most ample 
discretionary powers. } 

To the powerful and efficient testimony of Mr. Fellowes, was added 
that of Col. Troup, in a letter to the late Lord Alloway, which deserves 
quotation here: 

New York, April 2oth, 1829. 

MY LORD, As my friend, Mr. Gait, is on his way to England, rela 
tive to the business of his land agency in Upper Canada, and expects to 
visit Edinburgh before his return to America, I have requested him to 
do me the favor of calling on you with my respectful regards, and inform 
ing you that the trust estates under my management are in prosperous 
train, and promise the means of respectable remittances to the trustees. 

From all I have learned of the operations of Mr. Gait s agency, 1 
have reason to believe that he is eminently worthy of the confidence of 
his friends, and that he has laid a solid foundation for future profits. To 
realize these profits, however, will necessarily "be a work of time, from 
the extraordinary difficulties ever attending the settlement of wild lands, 
and from the scanty resources with which the settlers generally com 
mence the cultivation of their farms. 

With the most perfect esteem, I have the honor to be, your lordship s 
obedient servant, ROBERT TROUP. 

Lord Alloway. 

With such disinterested testimony as this, even if ample proof did 
not exist in other correspondence from equally unbiassed persons, there 
can be no doubt that, even if there were some extravagance, it had been 
for the purpose of securing larger and more immediate profits, and of 
laying the foundation of the new settlement on a sound and solid basis, 
which, while paying handsome dividends to the stockholders, would also 
secure the happiness and prosperity of the settlers. Had Mr. Gait been 
a man of a less sensitive and refined nature, perhaps some of the expenses 
would not have been incurred, but in his position he had it in his power, 
with very little trouble or outlay, to cheer and assist many a family, 
struggling with poverty and borne down by misfortune, and of alleviating 
many of the sufferings and sorrows which are, unfortunately, more or less 
the experience of settlers in new districts, even at this day. Who could 
blame him, therefore, if, with the immense resources of the Company at 
his command, and with the full consciousness that whatever, he might 
expend at the time, would be returned a hundred fold in the future, by 
the increased prosperity and loyalty to the Company s interests which 
would be the inevitable result of his action, he was a little more liberal 
in his dealings with the settlers than some other men might have been? 
And when he saw, by this benevolent course, scores of persons who, but 
a short time before had been poor, and discouraged by the hard battle 
they had been compelled to wage for bare existence, fast becoming happy 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 37 

and comparatively well off, he would have been a strange man if he 
could have looked back upon his course with anything but complacency 
and inward satisfaction, even though he might be called upon, in the 
future, to surfer for it to some extent himself. 

Before leaving Canada, which he felt within himself would be the 
termination of his connection with the Company s concerns, though he 
did not then allow anybody else to think so, he determined to pay one 
more visit to the sister settlement at Goderich. During his management 
of the affairs of the settlement he had commenced and nearly completed 
the cutting of a road to the shores of Lake Huron, upwards of seventy 
miles in length. " He took his departure in a sleigh, and travelling alone 
in the endless woods, the chill of whose uniformity was only taken off by 
an occasional log house for refreshment, he freely indulged himself in 
chewing the cud of bitter thoughts. I felt myself unworthily treated; 
he says ; i for everything I touched was prosperous ; and my endeavors 
to foster the objects of my care were all flourishing, and, without the 
blight of one single blossom, gave cheering promises of ample fruit. 

" Profit to the Company, which I saw would soon come of course, 
was less my object than to build in the wilderness an asylum for the ex 
iles of society a refuge for the fleers from the calamities of the old 
world and its systems foredoomed. 

" In the course of this journey, that was rendered more desolate by 
a heavy fall of snow, which often wreathed itself into impassable heights 
in the forest glade of the new road, and rendered it necessary for the 
sleigh to deviate into the woods, Mr. Gait was once nearly lost in the 
wilderness. It was almost midnight, and he was sixty miles within the 
depths of the primeval forest ; while the moonlight only served to show 
the flakes of the falling snow. i All around was silence/ he says, and 
the winds slept even in the branches. I halted, where, by a strange glare 
reflected from the ground, I seemed in a spacious court of a college, 
. solemn with overshadowing trees ." 

" Having reached Goderich the township allotted for which was 
almost cleared of the trees, and several log houses built Mr Gait took 
up his lodgings in the same log house where he had formerly stayed with 
Dr. Dunlop, when formerly there, in course of his exploratory expedition 
to Lake Huron. The lake itself was now covered with ice, and the land 
scape with snow, as far as the eye could reach ; but the cheering changes 
in the aspect of the locality itself, soothed and delighted him. A strong 
and growing attachment to the Province had taken root in his heart ; and 
it is quite evident, that the necessity for his leaving it caused him many 
bitter regrets. The day after his arrival was so boisterous and stormy, 
that the drifting of the dry snow made out-of-door exercise impossible, 
but the following morning, bright and calm, was, he tells us, spent in 
viewing the localities, and the progress made in the settlement ; but al 
though not aware that anything was left unexamined, my eyes were cur 
sory and myself listless; for it was not likely I should ever be there again 
and let a man nerve himseif ever so resolutely, there is sadness in a 
final thought, especially if, as in my case, it be attended with regrets and 
darkening prospects. Indignant reflections may appease farewell, nor was 
I without that acrid palliative. The Canada Company had originated in 
my suggestions ; it was established by my endeavors ; organized in due 
disregard of many obstacles by my perseverance, and though extensive 
and complicated in its scheme, a system was formed by me, upon which 
it could be with ease conducted. Yet without the commission of a fault 



38 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELP1T. 

for I dare every charge of that kind- -I was destined to reap from it 
only troubles and mortifications, and something which I felt as an attempt 
to disgrace me ." 

Soon after his return to Guelph, Mr. Gait openly announced his 
intention of leaving for England, although he deemed it impolitic to give 
the same publicity to his fears of a scheme, hatching somewhere, for the pur 
pose of breaking up the Company. Weary and sick at heart, discouraged 
and almost broken down himself, he preferred to bear the burden alone 
than to excite fears in the minds of those around him, which, after all, 
might prove, so far as they were concerned, baseless, and which, even 
supposing the worst he anticipated should come, it would do no good to 
raise at present. He therefore allowed them to think he was going to 
England only on a business trip, and it was with this feeling that they 
assembled in front of his house, on the morning fixed for his departure, 
and presented him with the following address: 

SIR, We, the undersigned inhabitants of the town and township of 
Guelph, learning that you are about to leave us, beg to express our sin 
cere regret that we should be deprived of your presence,, and the satis 
faction and pleasure it has ever afforded us. We trust and hope that 
your absence from amongst us will not be of long duration, and that you 
will accomplish the objects of your journey, whatever these may be. We 
would wish to express to you the obligations which you have conferred 
upon us, in the prosperity which has flowed upon us ever since we became 
united with you and the Canada Company many of us having come 
here in dependent circumstances, who are now; in a fair way to become 
independent, and all having improved their condition under your foster 
ing care. By the measures you have adopted, our lands in many- 
instances have, in the space of eighteen months, doubled or tripled their 
value ; and we do not look upon our obligations the less, that the Canada 
Company have shared in the advantage. You have set an example to 
the Province in the formation of proper roads and bridges, and showed 
by what means the progress of the settlement of the colony can be accel 
erated an hundred-fold by your measures, which have created this town 
and township. Finally we beg you to accept of our best wishes for your 
happiness and prosperity, wherever you may be ; and we request you to 
thank the Canada Company for all the benefits they have conferred upon 
us, and the greatest of these we consider their having sent you amongst 
us. (Signed by 144. heads of families.) 

That this address was not written in a spirit of flattery, but was the 
genuine expression of the feelings and sentiments of the settlers, there 
can be no doubt, for it was but a statement of what was the simple and 
unexaggerated truth. Where, two years before, stood a wild and tangled 
forest, now had risen a thriving and enterprising town ; where, on his 
arrival, the wolf and the bear had roamed at will, holding undisputed, 
possession, making the woods echo with their savage growls and shrill, 
unearthly bowlings, were now heard the songs of joy and praise, the 
expressions of gay, contented, and thankful hearts; and where the 
untutored savage had occasionally wandered, perchance losing his way, 
in the pursuits of the chase, were now seen all the evider.ces of civilization 
and comparative refinement. It is not strange, therefore, that Mr. Gait, 
in whose" busy brain all this had been planned, and by whose untiring 
energy, indomitable perseverance and practical skill this fair scene of 
order and prosperity had been called into being, out of the wild confusion 
and inhospitable desolation which had reigned but two years before, 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 39 

should have experienced mingled feelings of pleasure and sadness, hope 
and regret ; pleasure that he was privileged to have been the means of 
bringing happiness and peace to so many who needed comfort and help, 
and that he should have been able to reclaim from the native forests so 
rich a possession and plant the germ of future greatness and prosperity 
in this city in embryo; sadness that in his efforts to serve his fellow men 
his motives should have been so terribly misconstrued and his actions so 
cruelly misrepresented ; hope a feeble hope, it is true but still a hope, 
that he would yet be enabled to carry out the plans he had so fondly 
cherished, and still further serve the people to whom he had been as a 
father; and regret that he should, under such gloom and uncertainty, be 
leaving the little community which he had grown to love almost as his 
own kin. 

Whatever were the faults of Mr. Gait s management and that it 
was always wise and judicious, nobody conversant with the facts will for 
a moment assert there can be no doubt that his general policy, and his 
mode of working, were, in their entirety, most admirable, and had he 
been permitted to carry out his plans as conceived by him, the result 
would have been of the most gratifying nature. As has before been 
stated, however, there was a clique in England, composed of some who 
were disappointed at not having the management of the Company en 
trusted to them, envious of the honorable position in which Mr. Gait had 
been placed, and anxious, if possible, to bring about either his recall or 
the complete ruin of Ihe Company. There were others, also, who were 
ever active in fomenting dissatisfaction and circulating damaging rumors 
for sinister purposes, and to enable them to operate in the Company s 
stock on the exchange, and finally, perhaps, to obtain a controlling influ 
ence in its affairs, even if they did not succeed in getting the Company 
entirely into their own hands. That the treatment which Mr. Gait received 
at the hands of these people, and from the Directors through their influence 
was unjust, is clear from the commencement, and it is fortunate that the 
magnificent success which the Company has since proved, has furnished 
such an ample vindication of the course he adopted, and the wisdom and 
forethought with which he formed the scheme, which, in no essential par 
ticular was altered after he retired from the service. In support of this, it 
may, perhaps, be as well, to quote the opinion of Mr. Mactaggart, the engi 
neer under whom that gigantic piece of work, the Rideau canal was carried 
out a gentleman whose practical knowledge and extensive experience, 
entitle him to a respecful hearing. In his " Three Years in Upper Cana 
da," he says : " Mr. Gait deserves great credit for the invention and manage 
ment of the Company. In this he has shown a genius rarely excelled. 
He organized the whole management of business, and displayed all that 
tact and diplomacy which his superior talents qualify him for in such an 
eminent degree. He appointed surveyors and other people to look after 
the Crown Reserves in the various townships, that they might be disposed 
of to the Company s advantage. But these reserves were not found to 
be of utility, as nothing like a system of settlement could be employed 
in relation to them, lying as they do scattered up and down the townships. 
However, their sale will be much in the favor of Canada, and tend much 
towards its improvement ; for as they lay like uncleared specks amid a 
cleared country, they injured the progress of the settlements. On many 
of these reserves, squatters had taken up their abode a class of people, 
who, having wandered from home without the means of becoming regu 
lar landholders, are glad to find patches anywhere in the woods whereon 



40 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

they may subsist. To these unfortunate human beings, and, in truth, to 
all, he showed much tenderness, which has assisted to raise the just 
popularity he at present enjoys. He did not drive the squatters off the Com 
pany s lands, as many would have instantly done ; but sold them to the 
advantage of the Company and squatters, considering the little clearings 
they had made as uncleared forest. By doing this he has established a 
class of people in the townships devoted to the interest of the Company, 
who will neither despoil, nor allow to be despoiled, those valuable woods 
which may yet come to good account, on the reserves. Nevertheless, 
there were some in Upper Canada who continued to view the exertions 
of the Company with jealous eyes. These were they who found them 
selves unable to pluck the poor settlers before they got upon their lands, 
in the shape of fees or what not. They found the Company established 
the settler in a twinkling, without putting him to the galling trouble 
and expense of hanging about office doors, receiving rebuffs from con 
ceited clerks, and getting their purses lightened into the bargain. Were 
it for nothing else but this circumstance alone, the Canada Company will 
be respected ; when we find the distress of mankind alleviated in any 
degree, petty tyranny and pride laid prostrate before justice and humani 
ty, it is enough for our affections to become attached ; we want no more." 
In referring to this subject in his work, " Twenty-seven Years in 
Upper Canada, 1 Major Strickland says: "Of Mr. Gait s fitness for the 
office of superintendent of the Canada Company, it would, perhaps, be 
considered presumptuous in me to give an opinion. His position was an 
unfortunate one, and from his first residence in the country to his resig 
nation, there appears to have been a serious misunderstanding between 
him, the Governor, and the Executive Council, in consequence of which 
Gait s character was misrepresented at home as that of a meddling poli 
tician and troublesome person. Other charges regarding the wasteful 
expenditure of money in forming the new settlements were made before 
the Directors, and these repeated complaints against him left him no 
other alternative than to resign his situation. My own opinion is, that 
Gait was ill-used by the Canadian Government. He says, in his auto 
biography, that his whole and sole offence consisted in having accepted 
a file of the Colonial Advocate^ and shaken hands with the editor, the 
notorious William Lyon Mackenzie. In those days of ultra-toryism, 
such an instance of liberality and freedom from party prejudice was 
sufficient to excite the displeasure of the Governor and his council, 
though, as he says in a letter written in 1830, he had from his youth 
upward ever been a Tory. There is no doubt that Gait acted imprudent 
ly in this matter, though I fully believe without any intention of opposing 
the Government. In regard to the Company s affairs, more might be 
said to his prejudice not in respect of his integrity, for I believe him to 
have been a most honorable man, and incapable of any meanness but 
in regard to his management. Although, as the original projector of 
the Canada Company, he evinced much cleverness, and afterwards dis 
played considerable judgment in the choice of the best situations for 
building towns and villages, yet he committed some grievous mistakes. 
His ideas were generally good ; but often not well carried out in detail. 

I was very sorry to hear of Mr. Gait s retirement. 

He had always acted in a kind and liberal manner towards me; and, 
indeed, when he left the Company, I considered that I had lost a true 
and affectionate friend. I could not help, therefore, noticing with regret 
that, although most of the clerks belonging to the office were at that time 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 41 



in Toronto (then Little York), only Dr. Dunlop, Mr. Reid and myself 
accompanied Mr. Gait to the landing-place to see him depart and cry 
God speed ! But this is the way of the world. Those who should be 
most grateful when the hour of adversity dawns on their benefactor are 
often the first to desert him." 

That a man, who had by his own genius and courage, accomplished 
work such as to call forth eulogiums, such as these, and many more which 
might be cited, should be permitted to become the butt and victim of 
designing and unscrupulous speculators, is a sad commentary on the 
theory of " the eternal fitness of things," which some persons are so 
ready to preach ; and a striking illustration of the injustice and cruelty 
by which so many in this cold and selfish world are made to suffer. It 
is painful to reflect that the Company, upon mere rumors and statements 
afterwards proved to be false, and made by persons altogether incompe 
tent to judge, should have condemned a faithful servant, without even 
giving him an opportunity to explain or demonstrate the utility and pro 
bably ultimately successful results of the course he had adopted. Yet so 
it was ! And when too late, their folly in expecting to "reap where they 
had not strewn," or without waiting for the time of harvest, was fully 
shown to them ; and there can be no doubt that had they persisted in fol 
lowing the advice so recklessly given by men who, while possessing no 
ability or knowledge in matters such as this, were anxious, like wreckers 
on the wild sea coast, to profit by the loss and desolation of others, and 
reversed the policy laid down by Mr. Gait, ruin and misery must have 
been the inevitable result. 

Leaving Guelph early in the spring of 1829, Mr. Gait proceeded to 
York, to settle some remnants of business there, and in taking leave of 
Sir John Colborne, that gentleman assured him of his undiminished con 
fidence in his integrity and ability, and afterwards wrote in the most cor 
dial terms respecting him to the Secretary of State. After a stay of a 
few days in York, Mr. Gait left Canada for ever, and proceeding to New 
York, set sail for England, and on his arrival was informed that the 
Company was to be broken up, and its inability to go on announced. 
Anxious, if possible, at any cost, to prevent this pending calamity, he 
proceeded at once to London, and mainly by his influence, and his enthu 
siastic advocacy of the claims and prospects of the infant settlement, the 
disaster which seemed so near was finally averted, for which, if for 
nothing else, Upper Canada owes him a debt of gratitude which can 
never be repaid. At first he could not ascertain who, among the Direc 
tors and influential stock-holders, were friendly, and who opposed to 
him, and so he determined to be present at the next meeting of the 
Board ; " but, instead of any opportunity of vindication or explanation 
being afforded, the whole character, effect and importance of Mr. Gait s 
Canadian operations were skilfully kept out of view, and simply the gen 
eral balance of his accounts stated. The impression meant to be pro 
duced from this mode of procedure evidently was, that the expenditure 
had been lavish and inconsiderate. Yet, after all, what did this amount 
to ? Four thousand pounds had been allowed for the township of 
Guelph, and this had been found inadequate for necessary purposes, by 
something under seven hundred more. The head and front of offence 
had been this, no more; and let it be added, that the settlement at the 
time, instead of being an unfortunate one, was progressing beyond even 
the most sanguine expectations. ThQfama occasioned by this general 
meeting was next to conclusive ; and from private sources it was ascer- 



42 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

tained that some negotiation was going on between the Company and 
the Government for the latter taking back the lands. There was some 
idea that particular parties might step in and purchase them ; but this 
Mr. Gait resolved to prevent, if possible ; and he did his utmost to 
remove the sinister misrepresentations which had been made, by exhort 
ing his particular friends on no account to dispose of their shares." 

Being desirous, above all things, to save the Company from falling 
nto the hands of the parties now seeking to get control of the lands, 
which he knew would be a serious blow to the prosperity of the settlers, 
Mr. Gait made a flank movement, which had the effect of entirely rout 
ing the enemy. Having ascertained the effect of Sir John Colborne s 
letter at the Colonial Office, he next day solicited an audience of Sir 
George Murray, Secretary of State, and laid before him a full and explicit 
statement of the affairs of the Company, and his views of the prospects 
of success which then existed. Upon this Sir George intimated to the 
Directors the perfect willingness of the Government to relieve the Com 
pany of the lands, on an equitable basis ; paying for such improvements 
as had been effected at a lair valuation. The readiness with which the 
Government made this offer had the effect, which often occurs on 
the minds of selfish men, that as soon as they found others considered 
worth having, what they were about to discard, they began to think that 
they might be too hasty, and might, perhaps, be making a sacrifice by 
which others might benefit, and so they at once resolved to hold on, 
thinking, probably, that what was worth having, to the Government, 
might be worth retaining to themselves. 

The connection between Mr. Gait and the. Canada Company being 
now practically severed, it may be interesting to the reader to learn 
something of his life after this period. One of the many proofs of the 
disinterested manner in which he conducted the Company s affairs was, 
that though in a position in which he might, had he been so inclined, 
have placed himself in a condition of comparative ease, he now found 
himself, if not in poverty, at least in somewhat straitened circumstances. 
Having the command of very large sums of money, and being sole direc 
tor of all the operations in Canada, he could, doubtless, have managed, 
without any breach of the trust reposed in him, to have operated to some 
extent on his own account ; but in not the smallest transaction was this 
ever done, and in no single instance did he attempt to turn anything to 
his personal advantage. The consequence was, that being thrown once 
more on his own unaided resources, he was compelled again to turn his 
attention to literature. In a letter to a friend, written in July, 1829, he 
writes : u The truth has come out. It was not alleged headstrongness 
on my part has been the cause of what has taken place, but the want of 
funds to carry into effect the operations in the manner proposed origin 
ally by me, and to which the Government was so reluctantly brought to 
accede. It was a weak policy to seek for fault in my proceedings, when 
the reduction of my emoluments was found to be indispensable; but the 
same policy has been acted upon, I understand, towards Dr. Dunlop. 
He was recalled on the pretext of some political indiscretion ; but the 
sentence was revised, and he has since been placed on the better footing 
of being served with a notice to quit, on account of the necessity to 
economize. I have brought here with me a great mass of book materials, 
the fruits of my solitary nodes in the Canadian wayside taverns. Part of 
thq Landlady I have sent to Blackwood, leaving it to himself to publish 
in the magazine or otherwise. 1 have heard no literary news smce my 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 43 

return, being engaged in wading through the Company s accounts. The 
labor of this is, however, now nearly over, and then I shall betake me to 
my papers. My arrangements on leaving Canada were for my being 
back early in October; but that is now out of the question: nor indeed 
would I go again into the Company s service, without more discretionary 
powers being allowed me. The attempt to manage so complicated a 
concern by instructions from London was too absurd ; and nothing but 
the enjoyment I had in the work of improvement could in any degree 
compensate for the vexations of the last eighteen months." 

Though Mr. Gait was fully prepared to take up his pen again, and 
resume his place in the ranks of literature, the fact of his being recalled 
by the Company had the effect of bringing upon him serious embarrass 
ments, application for immediate payment being made of nearly all his 
outstanding debts, among which was a claim by Dr. Valpy of Reading, 
in whose charge Mr. Gait s three sons had been for some time. This 
was the last claim Mr. Gait expected would be pressed, the Doctor being 
an old personal friend, and being himself in easy circumstances, could 
not have been in very urgent need of the money, but a formal demand 
for payment by the Doctor s solicitors soon convinced him that he had 
no reason to presume on private friendship for leniency or consideration 
at this time, and none was granted. Not being then in a position to 
meet this demand an arrest soon followed, and in referring to the matter 
he says : " As I had by this time ascertained that, independent of a 
security given for my chief debt, and several farms in Canada sufficient 
for the others, I was only embarrased about the arrears of an annuity of 
three hundred pounds, that though irregularly paid, I had long counted 
on. I saw what was in my power ; and pride was appeased by the con 
sideration that I had always made more than I expended, and that it 
was entirely owing to others not fulfilling their engagements to me, I had 
ever suffered any perplexity in money matters." Though he wrote thus 
boldly, and to all appearances maintained his pride unabated, it must 
have been very humiliating and saddening to his mind to reflect, that 
after he had done so much for others, expending for their benefit the 
strength which other men would have been using in the interests of their 
families, they should now, when their purposes had been served, cast him 
off like a worn-out garment ; and while profiting by the expenditure of 
his mental and physicial abilities, they should forsake him in the hour of 
his temporary necessity. Still, with that courage which never under any 
circumstances forsook him, he determined to battle manfully on, and not 
to surrender while a hope remained. " I felt my independence aug 
mented," he says, " by looking on poverty, undismayed at her emaciation. 
I had, however, given hostages to society, and was no longer at liberty 
to consult my own wishes, and therefore immediately began to build a 
new scheme of life, in which the secondary condition of authorship was 
thus made primary. This winding up of my philanthropic dream is 
stated with as little emotion as possible, but it was not so felt." 

However much he might seek to disguise his sorrow and mortifica 
tion at the turn affairs had taken, there can be no doubt he still felt the 
sting in his heart, and though he applied himself, with characteristic 
energy to the pursuits of literature, he steadily refused to renew the 
acquaintances of former years, unless some marked advances were made 
towards him for that purpose. For some three or four years he continued 
to work hard at literature, at one time editing the Courier, at another 
preparing a life of Lord Byron, and then again in writing works of fiction, 



44 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

such as Lawrie Todd ; until at last his health broke down, and he became 
a confirmed invalid. Shortly before leaving Guelph, he one day 
stumbled, and received a severe shock in the spine from the root of a 
tree, from which he never fully recovered. At the time, and for some 
time afterwards, he experienced very little inconvenience, but eventually 
various nervous diseases manifested themselves, and soon afterwards he 
had a touch of paralysis. At this time he wrote " I could, indeed, no 
longer equivocate to myself, that the afternoon of life had come, and the 
hour striking. The consciousness of having overpast the summit of my 
strength, was not, however, so obvious to others as to myself; and thus, 
though I suffered what the school- boy called an all-overishness , I had 
no particular symptom that could be described ; some relaxation was, 
however, recommended, of which I would gladly have availed myself; 
but it is not in my nature to be long at rest, for I have found my truest 
reprose in a change of employment." 

In the year 1831, he became absorbed in the interests of the British 
American Land Company, but though through this and the following 
year he gave much time and thought to the matter he was not destined to 
take any active part in the business, and at the close of 1 832, he had several 
paralytic seizures, and his general health became permanently affected. 
The following letter, written in April 1833, will give some idea of his 
physical and mental condition at that time : 

MY DEAR SIR. Not being to-day in the best of spirits, I feel, like 
others,disposed to wreak my chagrin on my friends, and on you among 
others. John and Thomas have sailed for Canada, and you cannot 
imagine how much this event disconcerts me. Perhaps it is owing to my 
disease that it affects me so much: but I could not have|conceived, a priori 
that it would have depressed me to any degree like what it has done. 
John, poor fellow, goes with my full concurrence, though I cannot say 
the same of Thomas, but I submit. He is himself in the meantime 
pleased, but the Canada Company have not acted towards his father so 
as to give me the slightest confidence. 

I am willing to think that I feel morbid on this point ; but I cannot 
help it, especially as every day confirms the soundness of my undertak 
ings in the Upper Province, and the Company having pocketed above 
,300,000 through my instrumentality putting out of the question the 
good done to Canada, and the relief there granted to the poor of this 
country. When I went out as Commissioner, the circulating medium 
did not amount to ,72,000 ; and last year upwards of 300,000 sovereigns 
were lodged in the Bank ot Upper Canada. Although I myself say it, 
it has fallen to the lot of few to have done so much for any country, and 
to be so used, for the Government openly say they were over-reached ; 
just as if the present distress in this country could have been foreseen in 
the spring of 1824. 

My health is upon the whole mending, but I cannot move without 
aid; so my active life is over and the hopes which led me towards the 
British American Land Company must be given up. We only wait for 
letters from Canada to make me retire, for I am no longer fit for public 
business. This is a great calamity ; for it will oblige me to depend en 
tirely on literature, a poor trade, and even for it 1 am sorely disabled. 

Since the " Stolen Child," I have dictated another work in two 
volumes. It is finished, and I think one of the best I ever wrote. It is 
a tale of the Reformation, and in the incidents and development as 
original as I could make it. ****** My lameness gives me 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 45 



much leisure, and that apportioning of my time I have been long accus 
tomed to, enables me to do a great deal, even to the surprise of myself ; 
for I have in the meantime been obliged to suspend reading, as it invar 
iably makes me fall asleep. What I feel most is an occasional brightness 
ot intellect, which on reflection is often attended with alarm, as my sleep 
declines. Can you advise me anything as to this ? Dr. A. T. Thomson 
is for a voyage, or a residence at the sea side. But I am so helpless, and 
so many troubles perplex me that require a stouter health to withstand. 
Ever yours truly, JOHN GALT. 

In 1834 Mr. Gait removed to Scotland, and continued his literary 
work, sending forth a considerable number of volumes, essays, sketches, 
c., one of which " Literary Life and Miscellanies," was by special per 
mission of His Majesty, dedicated to William IV. Gradually, however, 
but steadily, his strength declined, and on the morning of April nth, 
1839, ne breathed his last ; and his remains lie buried in the family grave 
at Greenock. 

After Mr. Gait s retirement, the management of the affairs of the 
Company was entrusted to the care of two commissioners, Hon. Wm. 
Allen and Mr. Thomas Mercer Jones, and on their arrival most of the 
servants of the Company who had been appointed by Mr. Gait, and were 
associated with him in the laying out and building of Guelph, were re 
moved to Goderich, which was then beginning to assume very respectable 
proportions, though a long distance from any other settlement, not a house 
being then built within ten or twelve miles of it. The work of clearing 
farms in the forest, however, soon began, and in a very short time home 
steads and smiling fields were to be seen in many parts of the Huron 
tract. The work at this settlement was principally conducted under the 
supervision of Hon. W. Allen, while the management of affairs at Guelph 
was left in the hands of Mr. T. Mercer Jones, who soon won the respect 
of the entire community, by his upright and gentlemanly demeanor to 
wards the settlers. 

In May 1839, a serious disaster befell the town of Guelph, the results 
of which were felt for some time. Those who are old enough to remem 
ber when the Upper Province was one wild, almost impenetrable forest, 
or those who have travelled through regions of the country where the 
hand of man, even yet, has made but slight inroads on nature s vast 
domain, will have frequently noticed, in the woods, large gaps or lanes, 
the ground covered with trunks and branches of trees, twisted and 
tangled in all manner of inconceivable shapes, through or across which 
by no possibility could a man proceed. It will also have been noticed 
that in these gaps, the trees appear to have been twisted off at the stumps, 
or torn up at the roots, as if some monster of infinite strength had passed 
that way and torn them up like rushes in his mighty grasp, and thrown 
them down in anger and scorn. These wild scenes of desolation are 
caused by hurricanes, which occasionally visit thickly wooded districts, 
but which rarely occur after the land becomes cleared, it is supposed on 
account of some mysterious climatic change which takes place with the 
disappearance of the forests, somewhat in the same way as the changes 
in temperature and the quantity of rainfall which follow the clearing of 
the land. A hurricane such as this, and which, for violence has never 
been equalled in this part of the country since, visited the town and 
township at this time. The weather, for that season of the year, had 
been unusually sultry, and the air was hushed to an unnatural stillness, only 
broken by the occasional sound of thunder booming faintly in the dis- 



46 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

tance, which, being nothing unusual, attracted but little attention. That 
morning all nature seemed in a preternatural repose, until towards ten 
o clock, when the sky began to assume a most unusual appearance, a 
leaden cloud overshadowing all, casting on the earth a most sickly pallor. 
Towards noon the sky assumed a still more awful appearance, presenting 
to the view a vast arch of rolling blackness, and a nameless dread seized 
on the hearts of all, as the clouds gathered thicker and thicker and more 
threatening in their lowerings. Suddenly they seemed to gather closer, 
as if concentrating their force to overwhelm one devoted spot, when, al 
most immediately, they separated into attached masses, chasing each 
other through the sky, and then whirling and eddying like the foam in the 
vortex of a whirlpool. The thunder now broke forth in roars and peals, 
while the forked lightnings darted hither and thither, now and again 
striking some tall tree or other prominent object In speaking of this 
storm, Strickland says: " In a short space the clouds seemed to con 
verge to a point, which approached very near the earth, still whirling with 
great rapidity directly under this point ; and apparently from the midst 
of the woods arose a black column in the shape of a cone, which instant 
ly joined itself to the depending cloud. The sight was now grand and 
awful in the extreme. Let any one picture to the imagination a vast 
column of smoke, of inky blackness, reaching from earth to heaven, gy 
rating with fearful velocity ; bright lightnings issuing from the vortex 
the roar of the thunder the rushing of the blast the crashing of timber 
the limbs of trees, leaves and rubbish, mingled with clouds of dust, 
whirling through the air a faint idea is the given of the scene. 

" Through all the sky arise outrageous storms, 
And death stands threatening in a thousand forms; 
Clouds charged with loud destruction drown the day, 
And airy demons in wild whirlwind play; 
Thick thunderclaps, and lightning s vivid glare 
Disturb the sky, and trouble all the air." 

" I had ample time for observation as the hurricane commenced its 
desolating course about two miles from the town, through the centre of 
which it took its way, passing within fifty yards of the spot where a num 
ber of persons and myself were standing watching its fearful progress. 
As the tornado approached, the trees seemed to fall like a pack of cards 
before its irresistible current. After passing through the clearing made 
round the town, the force of the wind gradually abated, and in a fe\v 
minutes died away entirely. As soon as the storm was over, I went to 
see what damage it had done. From the point where I first observed 
the black column to rise from the woods and join the cloud, the trees 
were twisted in every direction. A belt of timber had been levelled to 
the ground about two miles in length, and about one hundred yards in 
breadth: at the entrance to the town it crossed the River Speed, and up 
rooted about six acres of wood which had been thinned out and left by 
Mr. Gait as an ornament to his house. The Eramosa Read was com 
pletely blocked up for nearly half a mile, in the wildest confusion possi 
ble. In its progress through the town it unroofed several houses, levelled 
the fences to the ground, and entirely demolished a frame barn: windows 
were dashed in, and in one instance the floor of a log house was carried 
up through the roof. Some hair-breadth escapes occurred, but, luckily, 
no lives were lost." 

From this time, for about three years, very little progress was made in 
the town, but few houses being built, and business generally being in an 
almost stagnant state. The Commissioners who succeeded Mr. Gait 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 47 

in the management appeared to be bent on a policy of " masterly inac 
tivity," doing nothing which could by any means be postponed till the 
future, the consequence being that money was scarce and a general 
depression brooded over the entire settlement. Among the works which 
was forced upon them, in self-defence, was the completion of the grist 
mill, which Mr. Gait had commenced ; for, without it, the hold the Com 
pany had on the farmers, as their bankers and general agents for the sale 
of their produce, and for almost every other communication with the 
outside world, would pass into other hands. Accordingly they set to 
work, in a dilatory, half-earnest sort of a way, to get the mill into running 
order. Mr. Strickland, who was then at Goderich, was instructed to 
engage a miller who had come there an American, and said to be char 
acteristically shrewd and cunning with whom he started for Guelph in 
the Spring, but there is no record of his having arrived, or if he did, of 
his having worked at the mill, for the builder and practical miller was 
Horace Perry, of Port Hope. The building was a substantial frame 
structure, containing every appliance for gristing, with three run of stones 
and ample store-rooms. In a short time the premises passed into the 
hands of Mr. James Allan, father of Mr. David Allan, the late owner, 
who from time to time made additions, until, in course of time, the frame 
was taken down to make room for the present stone buildings, and 
removed to a farm on the York Road, where it still stands, being used as 
a barn. When Mr. Allan purchased the mill, he put in another run of 
stones, making four runs in all, three of which were used for gristing and 
one for chopping. In 1835 ne built a distillery in connection with the 
mill, and about six years afterwards added a carding mill. When this 
mill was finished, Perry built another, on the Waterloo Road, krown to 
this day as the Red Mill. This mill, with fifty acres of land, was after 
wards bought by Mr. G. J, Grange, and was worked by him, after he 
relinquished the distillery, for some years. 

Towards the close of 1828 or in the early spring of 1829, a number of 
new immigrants arrived, some of whom made very good settlers, though 
most of them afterwards left the place. Among those who remained 
were Martin Dooley, who took up a farm about three miles out on the 
Waterloo Road, and did very well. Another who came at the same time 
was Michael Lennan, who soon afterwards died, and his widow subse 
quently married Andrew Farrell, father of Patrick Farrell, who still lives 
here. The farm now owned by Mr. Walter Sorby was first purchased 
from the Canada Company by Thos. Baker, and those opposite by James 
Baker and Patrick McGowan. J ames Beirnes generally known as Tinker 
Beirnes, about this time bought some land on the Waterloo Road, and 
laid it out in town lots, he being the first to do this except the Canada 
Company. A considerable number of persons built houses on this land, 
which was for many years familiarly known as " Tinkertown." Beirnes 
afterwards moved to Puslinch, and if he did not succeed well in anything 
else, he certainly fulfilled the Divine command to "increase and multi 
ply," for he was blessed with twenty children, in this particular therefore 
proving a very good colonist. 

For about two years, nothing of any interest occurred in the town, 
the arrivals of immigrants being comparatively few, and the improvements 
effected, in consequence of the financial stringency, which affected the 
whole of Canada, being consequently very limited. In the summer of 
1832, however, a fresh impetus was given tyy the arrival of a large party 
of immigrants from England, who had chartered the ship { Caroline " to 



48 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

bring them out. Among them were, Messrs. John and James Wilson, 
Edward Murton, Wm. Neeve, Edmund and Osmond Huntley, Josiah Mc- 
Kelkan and others, the entire party consisting of nearly a hundred persons. 
All of them were in comparatively affluent circumstances, some of them 
keeping servants in livery, and their arrival was the signal for a general 
revival of business, guineas being very plentiful with them, and they 
were not in any way niggardly in spending them. Houses sprang up on 
all sides, and a period of general prosperity commenced, the influence of 
which was never entirely lost in the town. One of the houses built at 
this time was that which stood for many years on the site of the present 
Grand Trunk passenger station, and the coachman s house, belonging to 
which, still stands, on the east side of the track. The house was a large 
two story brick building, very commodious, and for some years was un 
doubtedly the best house in town. Mr. John Combe Wilson, who built 
it, resided in it for some time, after which it was rented to Rev. Arthur 
Palmer. 

Besides this party of wealthy immigrants, there were a few others, 
who came from Ireland. A number of gentlemen had decided on com 
ing to Canada, and formed a party by themselves, chartering a vessel. 
Among them were the late Chancellor Blake, the late Archdeacon 
B rough, Dr. Robinson, afterwards well known as an eminent physician, 
the late Justice Connors, Rev. Edward Blake, Rev. Arthur Palmer, Mr. 
Samuel Crawford and Mr. R. M. Richardson. All of these were in good 
circumstances, and all men of education and position, every one of them 
holding a B. A. degree. The three last-named came to Guelph, and 
Rev. A. Palmer at once organized a church, meeting for the time being 
in the school-house. The congregations were from the first as large as 
the building would conveniently accommodate, many dissenters of the 
various denominations attending the services regularly, the utmost har 
mony prevailing throughout, until the Presbyterian church was built, 
when, of course, many of them left, though some of the Methodists never 
severed their connection with the Episcopal Church. Of the party who 
came out together, the only survivors are Rev. Archdeacon Palmer, now 
in England, and Mr. Richardson, who still resides in Guelph. 

In the fall of the same year, several other well-to-do immigrants 
arrived, including Captain Poore and Mr. Rowland Wingfield. Mr. 
Wingfield did not remain long, but returned to England, and in 1834 he 
again came out, bringing with him several head of Durham cattle, Lei 
cester and Southdown sheep, Berkshire pigs, and ducks, geese, fowls and 
pigeons in large numbers. He purchased the farm now owned and 
occupied by Mr. John Howitt, and for some time was very successful in 
breeding, and to him is due the honor of bringing into this part of the 
country the first specimens of these very fine breeds of cattle and sheep, 
for which the cattle especially this part of the country has since been 
so famous. In 1834 Mr. Wingfield, Captain Poore, Mr. Durand of 
Dunclas and three or four others, contested the election for member of 
Parliament to represent the District, when Mr. Durand was elected. 
After this Mr. Wingfield sustained some severe losses, and sold his farm 
to Mr. John Hewitt. He then removed to Chatham, and thence to 
Windsor, and a few years afterwards returned to Guelph, intending to 
open a billiard hall, but an American billiard marker, whom he brought 
with him, being entrusted witli ^300, all Mr. Wingfield s store, to go to 
the States to purchase tables, etc., decamped with the money, leaving 
Wingfield penniless. He soon afterwards received a remittance from 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 49 

his friends in Wales, when he returned home, and is now in the enjoy 
ment of a large estate, which has been in his family for several genera 
tions. 

During this year the work of church building commenced in earnest, 
the first to be erected being St. Andrew s church. In laying out the 
plan of the town, certain portions of land had been set aside by Mr. Gait 
for the uses of the various religious denominations. The portion allotted 
to the Roman Catholics was the hill at the head of Macdonnell street; 
for the Episcopalians the piece of land now known as St. George s 
Square, and to the Presbyterians a portion of the market place where the 
Town Hall now stands. Besides these sites, other lands were also 
allotted to them as glebes. The Presbyterian church was built on a hill, 
which was levelled when the church was pulled down, and was a very 
handsome and commodious frame building, with seating accommodation 
for about two hundred persons. The first pastor was Rev. William 
Smith. 

After the Rev. Father Campion had been removed to another dis 
trict, the Rev. Father Cullen had the oversight of the congregations in 
this part of Upper Canada, and by his earnestness and zeal he induced 
the members of the Roman Catholic Church in Guelph to erect a sanctu 
ary for themselves. When once commenced it was not long before the 
building was ready for use, the members of the church providing the 
materials and giving their own labor in placing them on the ground 
ready for the builders use. Rev. Father Cassidy was then appointed to 
the charge of the parish. The church, which was a frame structure, was 
not really finished for some time, either internally or externally, the 
painting not being done until 1835, when Mr. Harris, father of Mr. John 
Harris, who then lived at Niagara, sent a quantity of white lead to 
Guelph for the purpose. The work was done by James Beirnes. This 
was the first time, so far as is known, that paint had been used in Guelph, 
externally at least. This church stood until 1846, when on the night 
when the news was received of the liberation of Daniel O Connell, the 
Irish residents became so enthusiastic, that they lighted large bonfires 
on the hill, and some of the sparks falling on the roof, the church was 
burned down. 

St. George s church was commenced in the fall of the same year, and 
by the energy of Rev. Arthur Palmer, was fully paid for before it was fin 
ished, which was in the Spring of 1833. It was a very substantially built 
frame structure, said to have been the most solidly and strongly put to 
gether building of its kind ever erected in Guelph, and stood as one of 
the most conspicuous objects in the town until about three years ago, 
when it was finally removed, it having by that time become not only too 
small, but for other reasons unsuitable, as well as, to some extent, a de 
traction from the beauty of the town. , 

In the following year the Methodists built a neat frame church, on 
the site of the present Norfolk street church. 

Besides the parties of wealthy immigrants who came to the settle 
ment during this year, there were a great many of the poorer classes, 
many of whom were in a sick and destitute condition. One party, debili- 
ted by sickness and an extraordinarily long voyage, had to remain for a 
time in Montreal, and while there some of them died from cholera, which 
was making fearful ravages in the Lower Provinces that summer. On 
the arrival of the others in Guelph, the disease again broke out among 
them, and the authorities, to prevent the spread of the disease, kept them 



50 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

all in the Market House, which was boarded in for the purpose. A few 
of them died, but by careful treatment and the self-sacrificing attentions 
of the towns-people, most of them soon recovered, and they scattered to 
different parts of the township. 

In 1833, the Court of Requests, for the recovery of debts under 10 
was established, the Court consisting of eight commissioners, who met 
at the British Coffee House, kept by Thos. and Patrick Keating. The 
first entry in the records of this court reads as follows : 
GORE DISTRICT, ) Court of Request, opened at the British Coffee 
To Wit: \ House Inn of Thomas and Patrick Keating, in the 
said District, at the hour of 10 in the forenoon of 
Saturday, the i5th day of June, 1833. Present 
Wm. Heath, J. P., Henry Strange, J. P., Osmond 
Chas. Huntley, J. P., Samuel Crawford, J. P. 

There was only one suit at the first court but at the next there were 
twenty-two. The other commissioners were, Edward Huntley, Geoffrey 
Lynch, Dr. Clarke, Robt. Ambrose, and afterwards John Inglis. The 
Court was held every two weeks, until Nov. 21, 1841, when it was abolish 
ed, under the Act making provision for Division Courts. The clerks of 
the Court of Request were successively W. Heath, Edmund Huntley 
both of whom afterwards returned to England ; Jas. Hodgert, now dead ; 
Wm. Lowry, who now lives on the Waterloo Road ; and A. A. Baker, 
who held the office when the Cour t was abolished. 

In referring to Guelph at this time, Dr. Thomas Rolfe, in his (l Sta 
tistical Account of Upper Canada; says : a It is extremely healthy, and 
possesses saw-mills, grist-mills, tanneries, distilleries, and other manufac 
tories ; a large and increasing population ; new and superior houses in 
course of erection ; an excellent market house ; three well conducted 
taverns ; three large and handsome churches and a school. However, it 
may suit the purpose of grovelling malcontents and brawling grievance- 
mongers to abuse, vilify and misrepresent the labors and exertions of the 
Canada Company, it was mainly owing to their zeal, enterprise and assi 
duity that the Province became so much settled. They were the means 
of diffusing a more accurate account of Canada amongst the British 
people, and giving a tone to emigration, of which it formerly stood so much 
in need. Some persons inimical :o Guelph had described it as a failure. 
How far it is to be considered so, let the following statement, from a 
resident, decide: 

" In the first place the emigrant is told that Guelph is a failure. 
How far this is consistent with truth will be seen by the improvements 
now making, both in town and neighborhood. During the past year no 
less than sixteen frame and two brick houses made there appearance in 
our streets, and there are at present two large taverns in progress, a chapel 
and seven or eight frame houses building or contracted for in the town ; 
and building of all sorts and descriptions daily rising out of the woods, 
if I may use the expression, in the country. Almost the whole of the 
land that is available is disposed of, and is under cultivation and settled 
on, with the exception, I believe, of from 2000 to 3000 acres out of 48000, 
which compose the township, with a large and daily increasing propor 
tion of town lots, also disposed of, and built upon. We have breweries 
and distilleries, which give us the highest market price for our grain in 
cash. So much for Guelph being a failure. The short road from Dun- 
das to Guelph, by the mills of Mr. Crooks, of West Flamborough, is 
through a dense pine wood, extensive cedar swamps, with very few clear- 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 51 

ings until within seven or eight miles of Guelph. It is but 24 miles, 
admirable travelling when frozen up in winter, but almost impassable in 
the spring and autumn months, and but little improved in the midst of 
summer. The horrible causewayed roads, most clumsily put together, 
and occasionally broken, renders the most circuitous route by Gait far 
preferable." 

Captain Poore had for two or three years been endeavoring to form 
a volunteer rifle company in the town, but the men had little time to 
spare for such purposes, and, at that time, perhaps, but little inclination 
for playing at soldiering. In 1835, however, considerable anxiety began 
to be felt as to the probable result of the political agitations which were 
then beginning to be heard, more especially with regard to the faction 
headed by William Lyon Mackenzie. This was an opportunity eagerly 
seized upon by Captain Poore, and during the summer he formed a com 
pany some sixty strong, which met for drill every Saturday, on a portion 
of Capt. Poore s farm, where the race-course is now situated. 

The year 1837 opened threateningly for Canada. For some years 
serious differences had been growing up between the Colony and the 
Imperial Government, and the breach was gradually but surely widening. 
In 1832, in consequence of some scandals, having more or less reasonable 
foundations, which had occurred in the conduct of the Judiciary, and the 
House of Assembly having decided that, as far as that measure would have 
the effect ot removing the causes for the unpleasant popular feeling then 
existing, the judges should be made independent of the Crown, and 
should have permanent salaries assigned to them, and that only the Chief 
Justice should hold a seat in the Executive Council. The bill was passed 
by a fair majority, but when sent to England for the Royal assent, Lord 
Goderich thought fit to reject it. The Assembly thereupon retaliated by 
adopting the course pursued under similar circumstances in the Lower 
Province, by refusing to pass more than annual bills of supply, attaching 
the names of the individuals to each of the sums voted for salaries, and 
positively refusing to permit any person to hold more than one office at 
the same time. This latter measure was also rejected by Lord Goderich, 
and the Assembly then demanded the abolition of the Legislative Coun 
cil, and the substitution of one, the members of which should be elected 
by the people. This was not only refused by the Imperial Government, 
but Lord Stanley (the late Earl Derby) treated the colonists to a long 
and somewhat severe homily on their impertinence for daring to wish to 
legislate as they imagined would be best for the country, in opposition to 
the superior wisdom at home, and for their temerity in offering any oppo 
sition to the Imperial will. 

There was also existing a feeling of bitterness between the inhabit 
ants of the Upper and Lower Provinces, and between the French and 
English portions of the inhabitants, each nationality being jealous, lest 
the other should enjoy any- advantage which the other did not. All these 
minor points of difference, however, were sunk in the more important 
question of opposition to the home government, in what was universally 
looked upon as the tyranny of the course of action pursued by them, and 
the consequent burden of taxation under which the country was suffering. 
The people did not dare to hope for any practical measures of improve 
ment, their hopes having been so often blighted in the past. To speak 
of education, or the progress of public works, or the enactment of wiser 
and better laws, was equivalent to announcing oneself as a half-demented 
enthusiast; and to express a hope of the speedy establishment of a 



52 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

p. .. I.., . - . - 1 i . - . i. . . , . , - - _ _ - - 

sounder form of government, was looked upon by the people as the wild 
imaginations of a heated fancy, and by the Government partizans as little 
less than treason. There was practically no constitutional government, 
the sole power, and the administration of affairs, being really in the 
hands of the Governor. 

In 1834, Mr. Viger having been sent to England to lay the griev 
ances of the colony before the Government, a commission was appointed 
the following year to inquire into the causes of the dissatisfaction and 
the remedies which might be taken to alleviate them. The Colonial 
Secretary was willing to surrender the disposal of the entire revenue to 
the Assembly, on condition of their making separate provision for the 
judges, and fixing the salaries of the civil officers for two years; he also 
agreed to place the whole of the proceeds of the sales of unclaimed lands 
in the hands of the Assembly, but made such restrictions as to their man 
agement as virtually to nullify the effect of this provision. 

These so-called concessions were not by any means satisfactory, and 
in the early part of 1 837 the popular discontent began to take definite shape, 
the murmurings of an insurrectionary movement being heard, more or 
less distinctly, in all parts of the country. In the Lower Province some 
active demonstrations of hostility had already been made, and in the 
Upper Province there were symptoms that the example might soon be fol 
lowed. In the House of Assembly Mr. Wm. Lyon Mackenzie was particu 
larly active, and on several occasions defeated the Government ; but Sir 
Francis Bond Head, at that time Lieutenant Governor, steadily refused 
to concede any of the points demanded. - Outside the House, public 
meetings were being held, violent speeches made some ot them most 
unjustifiably so and in consequence, eighteen magistrates and thirty-five 
militia officers were deprived of their commissions. During the summer 
the agitation increased in intensity, the training of bands of Mackenzie s 
sympathizers was secretly carried on, and in some places the people went 
so far as to elect their own magistrates and militia officers. Some of 
the newspapers were also active in keeping the rebellious spirit alive, and 
soon armed bodies of men in the Lower Province openly set the Govern 
ment at defiance, and some sanguinary encounters had taken place 
between them and the regular troops. At the outbreak of these active 
measures of hostility in Lower Canada, Sir F. B. Head sent nearly all 
the British troops to the assistance of the Government there, relying on 
the loyalty of the people of the Upper Province to restrain or suppress 
any hostile demonstration which might be made here. The wisdom of 
this action is open to serious question, and the results proved that the 
Lt. Governor was not adequately informed, or, what is equally probable, 
greatly underestimated the strength, or affected to despise the influence 
and determination of the insurgents. The event proved that, though he 
was sustained by the loyalty of the people generally, Mackenzie and his 
sympathizers were strong enough to cause great trouble and loss to the 
country. On the 4th of December, 1837, the rebels assembled at Mont 
gomery s farm-house and tavern, a few miles up Yonge street, with the 
intention of marching on and " taking Toronto ; but a party of militia, 
with the assistance of a number of citizens, soon routed them, and Mac 
kenzie fled. This was, however, but the beginning of the troubles, and 
the Government at once called for the active assistance of the militia 
companies organized in various parts of the Province. Captain Poore 
had lost no time in placing his corps in a state ready for service, and on 
the day of the engagement at Montgomery s they left Guelph, 62 strong, 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 53 

under the command of Capt. Poore, Lieutenant Thompson, and Ensign 
Grange, a brother of Mr. G. J. Grange ; with John Thorp, James Arm 
strong and James Marshall as sergeants, leaving Col. Lamprey and Col. 
Young in charge of a portion of the company to protect Guelph. It was 
known that there were a considerable number of Mackenzie s sympa 
thisers in Eramosa and other districts in the neighborhood, and that if 
an opportunity were offered they might make some active demonstration, 
and possibly take possession of the town, so that there was a very natural 
feeling of alarm here, and it was positively necessary to leave some 
experienced and determined officers in the town, to prevent the rebel- 
liously inclined in the country districts from taking such steps as, but for 
the very pronounced feeling of loyalty pn the part of the towns-people, 
they would undoubtedly have proceeded to, they being in want of ammu 
nition, some quantities of which were in the stores in Guelph, several 
men having been employed for some days in running bullets, and a 
number of kegs of powder being also in store in the armory, known as 
Hodgerts octagon house, where the HERALD block now stands. 

On arriving at Dundas the company put up lor the night at Bamber- 
ger s hotel, and the town being somewhat of a rebel hot-bed, a warm 
reception was given to the Guelph volunteers, stones being thrown at 
them, and a sort of intermittent fire of such missiles being kept up 
throughout the night, at the hotel, in which the company were soundly 
sleeping, mostly on the floor and tables. None of the men were hurt, 
however, beyond a few slight bruises, and the next morning they marched 
to Hamilton, where they were heartily welcomed by the majority of the 
citizens, though there were quite a number who looked upon them with 
anything but friendly eyes. The company remained in Hamilton three 
days, being quartered in the Court House, when, being relieved by some 
other volunteers from Guelph, they marched to Ingersoll, Woodstock, 
Brantford, and other places. While at Brantford a report was brought 
in that the rebels were making pikes and moulding bullets at Scotland, 
and the Company at once started for that place, but on their arrival found 
nothing more conspicuous or treasonable than a cider mill in full opera 
tion. After a time the company returned to Hamilton, and on Christmas 
day went to the front, being stationed between Drummondville and Nia 
gara Falls. The corps which left Hamilton was 1,300 strong, besides 
about 500 Indians, and upwards of 450 sleighs were employed in convey 
ing them. In consequence of the energetic action taken by the authorities 
against the steamer " Caroline," and the insurgents stationed on Navy 
Island, the corps of which the Guelph men formed a part were not called 
into action, their duty consisting of the more arduous, if less glorious task 
of preserving peace in the outlying country, and defending the approaches 
to the scene of action. They were away about six weeks, and when they 
returned they separated, but were not disbanded, each man going to his 
own home. In the fall of 1838 another Company was raised by Captain 
Poore s orders, the men enlisting for a specified time, from November 
ist, 1838, to May ist, 1840. This Company was drafted to Hamilton in 
the first week in November, and remained there the whole of the period 
of their enlistment. 

In common with other parts of the country, Guelph suffered consid 
erably by this rebellion, not only on account of the general stagnation in 
business which followed, but also because of the absence of so many of 
the men from their farms and stores; and it was some years before the 
confidence and prosperity which had previously existed, fully returned. 



54 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

It had for some time become a matter of serious inconvenience, that 
the people oi Guelph, and the country lying north and west of it, should 
be compelled to go so long a distance to Dundas, the District town, to 
transact legal business, and a movement had for some time been on foot 
for the division of the Gore District, which then included the whole of 
what are now the counties of Wellington, Waterloo, Grey, Bruce, and the 
district as far as the shores of Lake Huron. As the result of the agita 
tion which was vigorously carried on, an act was passed in 1837, 7 Wil 
liam IV., chap. 1 8, providing for the division of the Gore District, and 
for the erection of the District of Wellington, as soon as a jail and 
court-house could be erected, and other necessary preliminary arrange 
ments made. Among the provisions of the act were, that the jail and 
court-house should be situated in the Town of Gueiph; that a District 
school should also be erected, the teachers salary to be ^100, to be paid 
out of the Provincial funds, as also the sum of ^250 for the support of 
common schools, in addition to a share in such sums as were granted 
under the Provincial statute of 4th William IV. The justices were em 
powered to borrow ,6,000 for building the jail and court-house, to be 
repaid in annual instalments of .250, with interest, for which they were 
empowered to levy an additional rate of id. in the tor four years. 

During 1838 a movement was commenced for improving the road 
between Guelph and Dundas, much inconvenience being felt in conse 
quence of the difficulties in travelling between these two points, letters, 
as appears by documents now in, the office of the Clerk of the Peace, 
sometimes being five and even seven days in transit. Several meetings 
were held to consider the matter but nothing definite was done until 
1839, when a public meeting was called, Mr. Henry Strange being in 
the chair, and Mr. Thos. Saunders acting as secretary. It was then 
proposed that a survey should be made, for a road direct to Dundas, 
instead of going round by way of Waterloo. Subscription lists were 
opened to defray the expense of the survey, which was entrusted to Mr. 
R. W. Kerr, of Flamborough West. The estimated cost was ^31,1 59. 17.7, 
or ,1285.16.8 per mile. A strong opposition was offered to the scheme 
on the part of some residents in Puslinch, who wished the road to be 
run from Guelph to the Waterloo macadamized road, cutting it at about 
Lamb s tavern. Petitions were prepared in favor of the original scheme, 
with the intention of forwarding them to Col. Chisholm and Hon. James 
Crooks, for presentation to the two branches of the Legislature, but upon 
its being found that Hon. Mr. Crooks, being personally interested in the 
success of the rival scheme, would be likely to " throw cold water " on 
the Guelph enterprise, the petition was sent to Hon. Adam Fergusson, 
instead of to him. Soon after this had been done, Mr. Henry Strange, who 
had been the prime mover in the matter, suddenly died, and no further 
action was taken for some time, as will appear hereafter. 

In 1840 the Act for the separation of the District of Wellington from 
the District of Gore came into operation, and on the 28th July the first 
meeting of the Court of Quarter Sessions was held, the Justices present 
being Messrs. Alexander Dingwall Fordyce, John Inglis, Geoffrey Lynch, 
Wm. Reynolds, Jas. Webster, Wm. Ellis, Wm. Hewat, Edward Murton, 
Edward F. Henning, Robt. Ailing and Henry W. Peterson. The fol 
lowing officers were then appointed for the District : Sheriff Mr. Geo. 
J. Grange; District Treasurer Mr. Wm. Hewat; Surgeon to the Gaol 
Dr. Wm. Clarke; Inspector of Weights and Measures Mr. A. A. Baker; 
Gaoler Mr. Robt. Dunbar ; Chief Constable Mr. John Jones. The 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 55 

Sheriff was required to give security, himself in ,1,000, and two sureties 
in ^500 each. These sureties were Messrs. Marcus Blair of Hamilton 
and Mr. Thos. Saunders, of Puslinch. On October 3rd, Sheriff Grange 
took the oath of office, before Messrs. A. J. Fergusson and Thomas 
Saunders, commissioners. 

At the same sittings of the Court, the Courts of Request, with the 
districts assigned to each were numbered as follows: i. Guelph and 
Eramosa ; 2. Waterloo; 3. Wilmot ; 4. Woolwich, Nichol and Queen s 
Bush ; 5. Erin, Garafraxa, and the townships added from the home dis 
trict, viz : Proton, Luther, Amaranth and Melancthon ; the divisions to 
take effect September ist. At the second meeting of this Court, held 
October 27th, thirty-one tavern and beer licenses were granted for the 
District. The fees charged were for beer license, from i. to ,3., and 
for tavern licenses, from $ to 7. 

At the meeting of the Court in August 1841, a proposition was made 
to lease from Wm. Dyson, a room in a new brick building he had just 
erected on Gordon street for many years known as the Red Lion tavern, 
and now called the Fountain Hotel. For many years the magistrates 
courts had been held at the British Coffee House, but now that the Dis 
trict had been set apart, and the legal business would be large, and constant 
ly increasing, it was decided to lease this place, at a rental of 50 per 
annum, until the Court House, soon to be commenced, should be ready 
for occupancy. By the terms of the lease, Mr. Dyson was required to fit 
up the room in a suitable manner, with the usual judges bench, dock, 
witness box, accommodation for counsel, witnesses, &c., and to provide a 
separate staircase for the judges, all of which was done. 

The attention of the Imperial Government having been called to the 
way in which unscrupulous persons in England were in the habit of 
misrepresenting to intending emigrants, the resources and general condi 
tion of the country, and the rate of wages, cost ot living, &c., a list of 
questions was sent to prominent and reliable persons in all parts of the 
Province, with the request that they should be answered as accurately as 
possible, for the information of the home government, to allow them to 
issue reliable circulars for the generalguidance of emigrants. From one 
of these lists, filled in by Mr. S. B. Harrison, and now in the office of the 
Clerk of the Peace, the following facts are gleaned. The price of land 
in the township of Guelph ranged from 123. 6d to 155. per acre. The 
cost of clearing was $14 to $16 per acre. Wheat was worth 35. gd. per 
bushel, oats lid. per bushel, and barley is. lod. per bushel. 

In this year the Wellington District Agricultural Society was formed, 
the committee reporting at the first meeting that ninety four members 
had been enrolled. The net income of the District in 1841, was ,726 
i is. 6d., of which Guelph paid 132. The expenditure for the year was 



At the January sessions in 1842, Mr. Adam Johnston Fergusson s 
commission as Justice of the Peace, and his appointment as Judge of the 
District were presented, when he took the oaths of office. At this time a 
scene took place in the Court worthy of notice, as showing that the coun 
try was not altogether free from religious intolerance. A case in which 
a note for a small sum of money formed the basis of action was being 
tried, when a jury was demanded. Upon the jury rising to be sworn, 
counsel for the plaintiff objected to one of them, on the ground that he 
was a Mennonist, and consequently ineligible as a juryman. The Men- 
nonists were a sect holding somewhat the same religious tenets as Quakers, 



56 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

claiming among other things, exemption from service in time of war, a 
privilege for which they were made to pay dearly enough, a tax of as 
much as ^5 per year being imposed upon them, in peace or war, as an 
equivalent for the exemption, the other taxes, to which all citizens were 
liable in common, being collected in addition. It was not till 1848 that 
this special tax could be even reduced, a majority in Parliament always 
voting down any measure brought in for their benefit. At the sitting of 
the Court over which Judge Fergusson first presided, the objection was 
raised, and the Judge had no alternative but to allow it, and the juryman 
was ordered to leave the box, and another man called to fill his place. 
Whether it may be regarded with satisfaction or not is a question, but 
the fact remains, that the objecting plaintiff lost his case. 

Durincr this vear the act for the election of school commissioners 

^j / 

came into operation, and the first meeting of the Board took place May 
iith. The Board consisted of Rev. Arthur Palmer, chairman, Rev. P. 
Wastel, Rev. Thomas Gibney, Roman Catholic priest, Rev. J. Smith, Dr. 
Henry Orton, Mr. Thomas Sandilands, Mr. Charles Julius Mickle and 
Mr. Wm. Neeve. Mr. A. A. Baker was the first clerk to the Board. The 
first action of the Board, after organizing, was to take under their control 
all the schools in the District, and order an inspection of all the school- 
houses, many of which were in need of repair, and in some districts new 
school-houses were required, and in course of time these were built. 
Several changes were also found to be necessary in the staff of teachers, 
some of whom were found to be very incompetent. Some of these were 
therefore discharged. 

In 1843 the new jail was finished, the distinction of being the first 
man to be confined therein being due to James Lindsay, for stealing cat 
tle. It being proved that he had been carrying on this business for a 
long time, he was sentenced to be imprisoned for five years. This docs 
not appear to have cured him of his propensity for driving other people s 
cattle, for he had not been released from his long confinement more than 
six weeks, when he was arrested on a similar charge near Toronto, and 
sent to the Provincial penitentiary for seven years. 

The criminal business during the year 1844 was very light, it being 
on record that at the January sessions there was not a single prisoner for 
trial ; at the July sessions only one, and at the November sessions only 
four, of whom two only were found guilty, and these for minor offences. 
This, however, as will be seen, was but the lull before the storm, for the 
courts were kept busy enough during the succeeding three or four years. 

This year witnessed the revival of the St. Andrew s Society. In the 
year 1828 Mr. Gait had established -A.psc.udo society, without any regular 
ly elected officers or times for meeting, but now a properly organized 
society was formed, but who were the officers there is no record to show. 
A St. George s Society on a similarly loose plan had also been in exist 
ence, and this year it also was revived, Mr. John Howitt being the first 
president, no record having been kept of the names of the other officers. 
This was nothing remarkable, for, until 1840, the records even of the 
courts, and of the meetings for the transaction of public business, were 
very meagre, and in many instances no records at all were made, the 
business being transacted in public meeting, and it apparently being 
thought that those interested could remember what had been done, at 
least until the next meeting. At the close of this year the Wellington 
District Benevolent Association was formed, with Rev. Arthur Palmer as 
president. This association was formed of all creeds and nationalities, 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 57 

for the relief of all in distress, with the same catholic disregard to relig 
ious or national distinctions, and for many years it continued its benevo 
lent operations, being the means of doing an incalculable amount of 
good. 

In 1845 a new era ma y be said to have commenced in Guelph. As 
the town had progressed in population and prosperity, two distinct 
attempts had been made to publish a local newspaper, but, partly owing 
to the limited constituency in the surrounding country and the financial 
depression which had existed all over the Province for several years, and 
partly also in consequence of the lack of practical ability on the part of 
those who made the ventures, both attempts proved signal failures. In 
the case of the Advertiser , which was now commenced, the result proved 
far different. The country was more prosperous, farmers were obtaining 
higher prices for their produce, more settlers were coming in, and, what 
was of far more consequence, Mr. John Smith, the proprietor, was a man 
of experience, and seemed to adapt his paper to the wants of the people 
upon whom he depended for support. 

In 1846 an act was passed providing for a reorganization of the Dis 
trict Councils, granting to each of the Districts enlarged powers and an 
additional number of councillors, the Wellington District being included. 
Under this new arrangement, which came into operation in January, 
1847, niany improvements were made, under the direction of Mr. 
A. D. Fordyce, the Warden, by which increased facilities were afforded 
for travel, by the repairing of many neglected county roads and the 
erection ot new bridges at several important points. During this year a 
new mill was built by Drs. Clarke and Orton the latter being the father 
of Dr. Orton, M. P. on the site of the present People s Mills, now owned 
by Mr. James Goldie. It was a frame structure, of considerable dimen 
sions, with six run of stones. A large business was done in gristing, and 
the enterprise promised to be exceedingly profitable for the proprietors, 
as it was undoubtedly a great convenience to the small farmers. Early 
in the next year, however, these hopes seemed for a time to be shattered, 
and a heavy blow was struck at the industry of the place. About two 
miles out of the town, on the Eramosa road, lived two families named 
Oliver and Coghlin, between which a long-standing religious feud had 
existed, the Olivers being Orangemen and the Coghlins Roman Catho 
lics. Whenever any members of these families met, high words, and 
frequently hard blows, were exchanged, the young men especially evinc 
ing great bitterness towards each other, and none of them bearing a very 
high character for sobriety, the disputes generally resulted from excite 
ment through drink. On the afternoon of March 23rd three of the Olivers 
were driving home in a sleigh, and when a short distance beyond the 
Eramosa hill, they met some of the Coghlins, and a fight ensued, in 
which Charles Coghlin stabbed Richard Oliver with a bayonet, killing 
him almost instantly. For this Coghlin was tried before Mr. Justice 
McLean, and being found. guilty of murder, was hanged in front of the 
Court House on July ist. There had been some difficulty in getting the 
scaffold erected, threats of a serious nature having been made by the 
friends of the convicted man that whoever undertook the job should 
suffer for it afterwards, and the lawless character of some of them was 
sufficient to deter many from doing the work who otherwise would have 
willingly undertaken it. Of the extensive sympathy for the family of the 
doomed man which existed in the minds of the lower classes, ample 
evidence was aftorded on the morning of the execution, when a most 



58 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

unseemly riot took place under the scaffold, which, but for the presence 
of a large posse of special constables, would probably have had serious 
results. When the prisoner was first arrested he was brought before Dr. 
Clarke, as Justice of the Peace, and the Coghlins declared that the pris 
oner was not fairly dealt with by him, a statement for which there does 
not appear to have been the slightest foundation, judging from the 
numerous letters on the subject which were published in the Advertiser 
at the time. This impression took a deep hold on the minds of the 
Coghlin family, however, and it was feared for some time that some 
injury, either of a personal nature or in his property, would be inflicted 
on the Doctor. When, therefore, in March, 1846, the mill was burned, 
the general impression was that it was the work of an incendiary, 
and it was so stated in a proclamation issued by the Government, offer 
ing a reward of ^250, in addition to .400 offered by Drs. Clarke and 
Orton and the District Council, for such evidence as would lead to the 
conviction of the culprit. Nothing ever came to light upon which to 
base a charge, though several persons were suspected, and the matter 
gradually lost its interest. The loss by the fire was ,5,500, which was 
covered by insurance to the amount of about ,3,000. 

Hitherto the Conservatives in the District had possessed no perma 
nent organ for the enunciation of their political principles. Two separate 
attempts had been made to establish a Conservative paper here, one in 
1842. when Mr. Chas. Macdonald commenced the publication of the 
Herald. Mr. Peterson, Registrar^of the District, who was the first to 
establish a newspaper west of Ancaster, had published a German paper, 
the Canada Museum , in Berlin, in 1832, and .having the press, one of the 
Ramage make, and a quantity of type still on hand, Mr. Macdonnell 
made an arrangement with Mr. Peterson, by which that gentleman was 
to be the actual proprietor, though Mr. Macdonnell was to be nominal 
owner, and the practical manager and editor. This paper only lived 
about nine months, when a Mr. Matthew S. Willet came to the town 
and made a similar arrangement, by which he commenced the Welling- 
Ionian, a paper very similar in all respects to the Herald, but from a 
variety of causes the venture did not prove a success, and in a few weeks 
it was dropped. In the Spring of 1847, Mr. F. D. Austin effected an 
arrangement with Mr. Peterson of somewhat the same nature as the 
others, and brought out the HERALD. He soon after took a partner, and 
the paper was published by Austin & Pearson. In the course of the 
following year, it being desirable to improve the character of the paper 
and to put in new type, a joint stock company was formed, by Mr. Web 
ster, Mr. Peterson, and several other gentlemen in the town, and Mr. 
Geo. Pine, a man of liberal education and considerable ability, was in 
vited to take the editorial control, which he did, and the paper at once 
took a foremost place among Canadian newspapers, its fearless advocacy 
of the principles of the Conservative party, and the unflinching opposi 
tion it offered to everything savoring of meaness or trickery in local or 
general politics, as well as the ability displayed in its editorial columns, 
and the enterprise shown in the news department, stamping it from the 
commencement as a high class newspaper, destined to exert a powerful 
influence on the future of the District, a mission which it most emphati 
cally accomplished. It was soon found, as has generally been the case, 
that a joint stock company, in a small town like Guelph, was not the best 
machinery for carrying on a newspaper business, and it was finally ar 
ranged that Mr. Geo. Pirie should become sole proprietor and editor, a 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 59 

position for which his remarkable abilities eminently fitted him. With 
what success he conducted the paper those who had the honor of his 
acquainiance can fully testify, and it is not too much to say that the Con 
servative party in this town and surrounding districts, owes much of its 
prosperity and power to his untiring exertions and salf denying labors, in 
which he never flagged up to the time of his death, which took place in 
1870. Of the course pursued and the success of the paper since, the 
public are left to judge for themselves. 

Early in 1848 an appeal was made by Rev. Arthur Palmer and a 
number of the most prominent men in the town, for funds to assist in the 
relief of the people of Ireland, who were then in the greatest distress 
consequent on the recent potato famine, and to the credit of the people 
of Guelph, small in number though they were, it is recorded that upwards 
of ^400 was subscribed. 

The farmers of the Wellington District had always taken a deep 
interests in the proceedings of agricultural societies, more especially that 
of the Gore District, and several local clubs had been formed in the 
townships in the neighborhood of Guelph, excepting Puslinch. This 
year the Puslinch farmers determined to have a club, and accordingly in 
February a meeting was held, and the Puslinch branch of the Wellington 
District Agricultural Society was organized, a club which has, perhaps, 
been more generally successful, and exerted a more beneficial influence, 
both on account of the hearty interest taken in it, and the more than 
ordinary intelligence and energy of its members, than almost any other 
in the Province, and there is probably not one local organization of the 
kind in this country which to-day commands so much respect among the 
agricultural community. 

In April a deputation arrived here from Toronto, to consult some of 
the leading men of the town as to what steps should be taken by Guelph 
in support of the proposed Toronto and Goderich Railway, which the 
company contemplated bringing through the town, if sufficient encour 
agement were offered. A public meeting was at once called, Sheriff 
Grange in the chair, when the intentions of the company were fully 
explained by Mr. Thos. (now Judge) Gait, who said he had visited the town 
in 1827, and had on foot traversed the distance from Guelph to Goderich, 
before there was even so much as a pathway cut through the woods, and 
he felt peculiar pleasure in being the first to lay before the people of this 
town a proposal to build a railway across the same country. It was 
resolved that a committee should be appointed to collect subscriptions to 
defray the expenses of a survey and push the matter forward ; but, though 
a number of meetings were held, and considerable stir was made in the 
country, the project, so far as this company was concerned, died a natural 
death. 

Mr. James Webster had sat for the District in the Local Assembly 
for several years, and the Reformers thought that a gentleman of their 
own side in politics should be chosen at the next election, which was 
expected to take place at no distant day. They accordingly organized, 
and Mr. A. J. Fergusson, District Judge, was induced to resign his posi 
tion for the purpose of becoming a candidate, which he did in April, and 
Mr. Wm. Dummer Powell was appointed his successor in May. At the 
retirement of Judge Fergusson addresses were presented to him by 
members of the bar and others, on both sides in politics, expressive of 
the high esteem in which he had been held as a judge, and the warm 
feelings of respect entertained for him personally. Canvassing went 



60 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

. ._ __ | . _ _ _ _ jm^ ^ 

vigorously on during the remainder of the year, the result of which will 
be referred to hereafter. 

In the November session of parliament an act was passed incorpor 
ating the Guelph and Dundas Road Company, for the purpose of building 
a macadamized and gravelled road from the town to a point to join the 
Dundas and Waterloo macadamized road, with a capital of ,10,000, with 
power to increase it to ,20,000. The sum of .9,000 was at once bor 
rowed on debentures, and this very important work was proceeded with 
vigorously. An act was also passed incorporating the Guelph and Arthur 
Road Company, for the purpose of building a macadamized and gravel 
road to Card s Corner, near the present junction of the Elora and Fergus 
roads, and that work was also soon afterwards commenced. In June of 
this year Rev. J. G. Macgregor was ordained pastor of Knox s Church, 
and in November a church was finished on the present site of Raymond s 
sewing-machine factory. The Primitive Methodist chapel, on Surrey 
street, was also built and dedicated in the fall of this year. Among the 
other buildings worthy of note erected this year were the large stone 
house and store of Mr. F. W. Stone, on Gordon street ; a stone building 
by Mr. Thomas Heffernan on Wyndham street, and a commodious hotel, 
of stone, by Mr. Thomas Hood, known as the Wellington Hotel. 

At the close of the year Parliament was dissolved, and in January, 
1848, a general election took place, the candidates in the Wellington 
District being Mr. A. J. Fergusson, Reformer, and Mr. James Webster, 
Conservative. The election was hotly contested by both sides. The 
result of the general election was that the Baldwin, or Reform party, 
succeeded to power, but Mr. Fergusson was defeated in this district by 
300 votes. He thereupon entered a protest, on the plea of corruption 
on the part of the Conservatives, especially in the neighborhood of Owen 
Sound where some votes appear to have been polled by some persons not 
duly qualified. Mr. Webster, however, took his seat, and the contested 
election suit dragged its weary way along until February, 1849, when 
judgment was given in Mr. Fergusson s favor, and he took his seat. 

At the June assizes Joseph and Thomas Ferris were tried for the 
murder of Henry Wilson, in Wellesley, in March. A dispute had arisen 
respecting the ownership of a strip of land, and Wilson had obtained a 
writ of ejectment, and upon going to serve it, Joseph Ferris knocked him 
down and strangled him with his scarf, the other prisoner looking on 
while it was done. They were both sentenced to be hanged, when they 
made a full confession, and their sentence was commuted to imprison 
ment for life. At the Quarter Sessions in July, Judge Powell had the 
gratifying duty to inform the Grand Jury that, for the third time, there 
were no prisoners for trial, and only one case was brought before the 
magistrates in Guelph during the whole year. 

During the summer contracts were let for macadamizing seven miles 
of the Dundas Road at ,1,230 per mile, and gravelling the remainder at 
,420 per mile. On July 2ist a large number of the inhabitants of 
Guelph proceeded in procession to Hamilton s tavern, where the first 
shovel full of earth was turned, and the work, the total cost of which was 
to be ,20,000, to be finished in September, 1849, was fairly commenced. 
To carry on the work, debentures for various amounts were issued, 
including some for five shillings each, to be used in paying wages to the 
men, and as a regular circulating medium. One of these is now in the pos 
session of Mr. George Sleeman, and shows that it was not deemed neces 
sary to go to the expense of having them prepared in the highest style of 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 61 

the engraver s art, the work being of the roughest description, such as 
some down-easters might have been expected to whittle out with a jack- 
knife or hew out with a "little hatchet." They were adorned with a cut 
of the Duke of Wellington mounted on a rampant steed of the orthodox 
rocking horse pattern, and informed all whom it might concern, that 
"The District of Wellington Promise to pay William Cook, or bearer, 
Five years after date, at the office of the Treasurer in Guelph, and not 

chew ere ^ the sum of Five Shillings in currency, with years interest, 

for value received." They were signed by James Wright, Warden, and 
William Hewat, Treasurer. 

Among the incidents worthy of notice during this year may be men 
tioned the death of Dr. Ailing, who had been in the town for seventeen 
years, during which time he had been successively a physician in good 
practice, agent for the Canada Company, merchant, bank agent, and Dis 
trict officer, and who by his application to business and his unimpeachable 
integrity, had become one of the most wealthy and respected inhabitants 
of the town. During the summer several stone stores were erected on 
VVyndham street by Mr. Wm. Day and Mr. T. Heffernan ; a foundry 
had been built by Dr. Clarke, and was soon in active operation under the 
management of Robertson & Co., and the Wellington Mills were rebuilt 
of stone by Dr. Clarke. In May the brewery and distillery owned by 
Mr. Oliver, and occupied by Mr. Williams and Mr. Fox, were burned, 
and one of the oldest and most prominent buildings in the town thus 
disappeared. 

In December, considerable excitement was caused by an agitation 
which originated in Gait, for a division of the District, and several public 
meetings were held at the Court House, when it was decided to send Mr. 
John Smith to Montreal to represent the people of this portion of the 
District, and ;to oppose the proposed division before the Legislature. 
Subsequently Mr. Jas. Wright and Dr. Clarke were also sent on the same 
errand, but without avail, for in March 1849, a bill was passed for the 
division of the District into the counties of Waterloo and Wellington, 
and the united counties of Grey and Peel, the Act to take effect January 
ist, 1850. The Act provided that the County of Waterloo should consist 
of the townships of Waterloo, Wilmot, Wellesley, Woolwich, (except the 
Pilkington tract) and the north half of Dumfries. Wellington to consist 
of the townships of Guelph, Puslinch, Eramosa, Erin, Nichol, Garafraxa, 
Peel, Maryboro, and the Pilkington tract, which was to be attached to 
Nichol.. Grey and Peel to consist of all the northern townships, with 
five others from the Simcoe District. Though the Districts were thus 
abolished under this Act, District Courts and other District Institutions 
and all laws applicable to them, were to be continued as applying to the 
counties, which would, however, at once become separate for registration 
and electoral purposes, and so soon as all necessary arrangements had 
been made, such as the building of gaols and court nouses, for municipal 
and judicial purposes also. 

In June, Mr. Fergusson having returned from his first session in par 
liament, a grand banquet was given to him at Pipe s hotel. In the after 
noon a procession of his friends from all parts of the District, two miles 
in length, paraded the streets, and at the dinner in the evening about 
500 persons were present, and great enthusiasm prevailed, Mr. Fergusson 
on this occasion making one of the best speeches he ever delivered. 

In the summer of this year the cholera made fearful ravages in various 
parts of the country, as many as 26 cases, 7 of which were fatal, having 






THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



been reported in one day in Toronto. Though the disease did not 
assume an epidemic form in Guelph, there were some cases and a few 
deaths, which led to the appointment of a Board of Health for the Town 
and Township, consisting of Sheriff Grange, Mr. A. J. Fergusson, M.P.P., 
Mr. Jas. Wright, Judge Powell, Rev. A. Palmer, Rev. S. Sandrel, Mr. 
Jas. Hough, Mr. Jno. Harrison and Dr. Clarke, to whose untiring exer 
tions in securing the cleansing of the streets and outhouses, as well as 
the bed of the river, for which purpose the water was drawn off between 
the dams, very much of the comparative immunity from the disease which 
Guelph enjoyed is to be attributed. 

In common with most other towns in Canada at that time, in conse 
quence of the cheapness of spirits, the curse of drunkenness was very 
prevalent, and in 1845 a Temperance Society was formed, numbering 
among its members nearly all the prominent men of the town, and in 
September of this year a monster temperance demonstration was held, 
when speakers were present from all parts of the country, and quite a 
temperance revival took place, the beneficial effects of which never 
passed away, while the immediate results were of the most gratifying 
nature. 

In the same month Lord Elgin, then Governor-General, in the course 
of a tour he was making through the Upper Province, arrived at Gait, 
when Sheriff Grange at once called a meeting to ascertain the wishes of 
the people with reference to inviting his lordship here. The feeling was 
far from being unanimous on the subject, there being many in Guelph, as 
elsewhere, who considered Lord Elgin had gene beyond his constitutional 
rights in his action towards the government of the day, and in his reports 
on certain measures made to the home government, and some went so 
for as to advocate a petition to the Queen to have him recalled. The 
majority being in favor of inviting him to visit Guelph, a deputation, con 
sisting of Mr. Fergusson, Sheriff Grange, Judge Powell, Mr. T. Sandi- 
lands and Mr. John Smith, was appointed to wait upon him at Gait, and 
tender to him the hospitality of the town, which he accepted, arriving 
here September 29th. A procession numbering about 2,000 persons met 
him about two miles out of the town, and escorted him here with bands 
playing and colors flying. On arriving at Thorp s hotel, where the vice 
regal party dined, a loyal address was presented by the town officials, 
another by the Total Abstinence Society, and one by the people of Elora, 
to which His Excellency replied in a long speech from the balcony of the 
hotel, the malcontents showing their good sense by maintaining a 
respectful silence. The next day being Sunday, his lordship remained 
over that day, and attended the English church, in company with Mr. 
Fergusson, Sheriff Grange and others. On his leaving the town on Mon 
day morning a royal salute of 21 guns was fired on the Market Square, 
and the visit concluded most creditably for Guelph. 

In the Municipal Act, passed in 1849, Guelph was included in the 
list of towns to be accorded municipal rights, and great was the mortifi 
cation felt when, at the close of the session, it was found that schedule 
D. had, by a mistake on the part of one of the engrossing clerks, been 
omitted from the bill as sent to the Upper House, so that when it passed 
there, this schedule was not considered, and consequently formed no part 
of the bill to which the assent of the Governor-General was given. The 
consequence was that Guelph, with about half a dozen other town simi 
larly omitted, could not be incorporated until another Act was passed the 
following year, and the incorporation was necessarily deferred till 1851. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 63 

It had long been felt that to counteract some of the evil influences 
and attractions of bar rooms and other similar places, some provision 
should be made for affording to the young men of the town facilities for 
self-improvement after the hours of labor had passed, and it was there 
fore proposed that a Mechanics Institute, similar to those which had 
proved so successful in the Lower Province, should be established, and 
accordingly, in January, 1850, a public meeting was held to lay the mat 
ter before the people, and so highly was the scheme approved of, that 
upwards of one hundred members were enrolled that night. In order 
to make it popular with the rural as well as the urban population, the 
name of " The Farmers and Mechanics Institute " was adopted, and an 
organization was at once effected by the election of the following officers : 
President C. J. Mickle, 1st Vice-Pres. Dr. Liddell, 2nd Vice-Pres. J. 
Harrison, Treasurer T. Sandilands, Secretary A. McDonald, Commit 
tee Sheriff Grange, Col. Hewat, Rev. R. Torrance, Messrs. R. Scott, 
P. Gow, J. Ferguson, J. Watt, D. Savage, J. Armstrong, W. Crowe, R. 
Thompson and J. Jackson. 

The first meeting of the new County Council, under the Act of 1849 
was held in the Court House on Monday, January 28th, the late Warden, 
Mr. J. Wright in, the chair. The members present were: Messrs. Bow 
man and Snider, Waterloo ; Meyer and Pas smore, Woolwich ; Thurtell 
and Sunley, Guelph ; Cockburn and Ellis, Puslinch ; Henshaw and 
Clarke, Erin ; Armstrong, Eramosa ; Donaldson, Garafraxa ; Carney, 
Derby ; Watt, Nichol ; Cameron, Arthur ; Bettschin, Wilmot ; C. O Cal- 
lahan, Peel ; George Jackson, Bentinck ; A. B. McNab, Glenelg ; Robt. 
Houth, Sydenham ; Charles Thorpe, Holland ; William Halliday, Sulli 
van ; Hawk and Cunningham, Wellesley ; W. Fox, Normanby ; D. 
Cochrane, Esremont. At the commencement of the proceedings, it was 
discovered that some of the councillors had not deposited their certificates 
of qualification, nor taken the oaths of office, and an adjournment of the 
Council, for one hour was agreed to, in order to afford time for such cer 
tificates to be presented. The Council re-assembled about 5 o clock, 
when the chair was again taken by Mr. Wright, who said that the County 
was entitled to return 27 members to this Council ; but that only 25 had, 
at present, given in their certificates, and taken the oaths of office. Of 
this number, there were some who were not qualified according to Mr. 
Baldwin s opinion, but he believed the majority were so qualified, and, 
therefore, the Council would be competent to act. He would read the 
list of those who were entitled to sit in the Council, having qualified ac 
cording to Mr. Baldwin s opinion: (,300 freeholders): Messrs. Bowman, 
Armstrong, Donaldson, Passmore, Cockburn, Carney, Watt, Sunley, Thur 
tell, Henshaw, Cameron, Ellis, Bettschin and Clarke. There being 27 Coun 
cillors necessary to form the total number of the Waterloo County Council, 
and 14 of this number being present, and duly qualified to sit, the Coun 
cil proceeded to business, and Mr. B. Thurtell was elected Warden, Mr. 
A. D. Ferrier, Clerk, Mr. W. Hewat, Treasurer, and Messrs. T. R. Brock 
and Thos. Heffernan, Auditors. Mr. A. A. Baker, who had been clerk of 
the District Council for nine years, had resigned, not wishing to hold the 
office of clerk any longer. At the first meeting of the Township Council 
under the new law Mr. James Hough was appointed clerk. 

At the June session of the House of Assembly a new Representation 
Bill was introduced into the Assembly by Mr. LaFontaine, for the further 
division of a number of counties, and redistribution of seats, among the 
provisions of which were, that " the County of Halton shall consist of the 



64 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

townships of Erin, Esquesing, Trafalgar, Nassagaweya and Nelson; the 
County of Waterloo shall consist of the townships of North Dumfries, 
including the town of Gait; Waterloo, Wilmot, Woolwich, Wellesley, 
Peel and Maryborough ; the County of Wellington shall consist of the 
townships of Puslinch, Guelph, Nichol, Garairaxa and Eramosa ; the 
County of Peel shall consist 01 the townships of Normanby, Egremont, 
Proton, Melancthon, Minto, Arthur, Luther and Amaranth." The excite 
ment and indignation in the public mind at this new attempt to curtail 
the boundaries of the county were intense, and several most enthusiastic 
public meetings were held to protest against the proposed measure. By 
this arrangement Wellington would have been left with a population of 
but 13,000, while Waterloo would have had 26,000, which was rightly 
looked upon as a great piece of injustice, especially as the County of 
Wellington had assumed liabilities, in connection with the building of the 
Brock Road and other improvements, amounting to upwards of ^14,000; 
and, as was agreed at the first meeting, if the contemplated division were 
effected the county would find it extremely hard to raise sufficient money 
even to pay the officers necessary to carry on its business. At this 
meeting an able speech was delivered by Mr. A. J. Fergusson, M. P. P., 
who advocated that instead of cutting off any portion of the county, it 
should be divided into three electoral districts, but that for other pur 
poses it should remain intact. The three electoral divisions he would 
propose, to consist of the Western, containing 279,000 acres, with a popu 
lation of 17,000 ; the Eastern, containing 274,000 acres, with a popula 
tion of 16,000; and the Northern, containing 365,000 acres, with a popu 
lation of not more than 7,000. These divisions "he considered sufficiently 
near, both in area and population, to balance each other, and would 
answer the purposes of extended representation perfectly well, without 
bringing upon the county the evils which would arise from a division 
into separate counties. That this county, with a population of up 
wards of 40,000, should have but one parliamentary representative, 
while some places had sent a member to parliament upon a population of 
not more than 5,000 or 6,000, was manifestly unfair. It was finally de 
cided that a deputation, consisting of the Warden and Messrs. Webster, 
Wright, Smith and Sandilands should proceed to Toronto to lay the case 
before the. Government, which they did, the result being that it was 
arranged between Messrs. Hincks and Price, on the part of the Govern 
ment, and the deputations from Gait and Guelph, that the townships of 
Waterloo, Wilmot, Wellesley and Lower Woolwich should be set apart 
from the county, bearing an equal proportion of any taxation, on the basis 
of the assessment of 1848, for paying off the debentures issued for the 
construction ot the Brock Road; leaving to Wellington the townships of 
Guelph, Puslinch, Eramosa, Erin, Nichol, the Pilkington Tract, Peel, 
Maryboro, Minto, Luther, Arthur and Amaranth. The County of Wel 
lington, as thus constituted, was to have two representatives assigned to 
it in the Bill, while the former townships, with the north halves of Dum 
fries and Blenheim, were to be formed into the County of Waterloo, with 
one member. By the emphasis of public opinion, and the persistent 
opposition offered by the members from the constituencies more immedi 
ately interested, the bill was defeated at that time, though, as will be 
seen hereafter, a measure, so far as it affected this county, very similar in 
its tenor, was passed at a subsequent session. 

During the sitting of the Legislature in August, a serious misunder 
standing occurred between the House and the Press. While an import- 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 65 

ant debate was in progress, Mr. (now Hon.) David Christie, left the floor 
of the House and stood near the desks assigned to the reporters, and 
carried on a conversation with some friends in so loud a tone that the 
speakers could not be distinctly heard, thus interfering very materially 
with the reporters in the discharge of their very onerous duties. Mr. 
George Ure, a reporter on the Globe staff, therefore politely requested 
Mr. Christie to speak in a little lower tone, or to move a little farther 
away from the reporters desks. This Mr. Christie chose to construe 
into an insult, and brought the matter before the House as a question of 
privilege, and though Mr. Ure had sent him an apology, disclaiming any 
intention of insulting him or infringing upon the privileges of members, 
he insisted on the floor of the House that the offending reporter should 
be called to the bar and censured by Mr. Speaker, on the ground that 
the members of the Press were only admitted on sufferance, and had no 
rights which members were bound to respect. The House divided on 
the subject, the majority voting in favor of Mr. Christie s motion, and 
Mr. Ure was accordingly brought to the bar and mildly very mildly- 
censured by Mr. Speaker, upon which the reporters withdrew from the 
House in a body, and being sustained in their action by the proprietors 
of the several papers, positively refused to return until some action had 
been taken by the House in reversal of the former proceedings, so that, 
with the exception of such fragmentary scraps of information as were 
volunteered by members, or gathered by private individuals, no reports 
of the proceedings of the remainder of that session were published. At 
the conclusion of the session, when hon. members went home, they were 
exceedingly surprised at the storm of public feeling which burst about 
their heads, those who had sustained Mr. Christie being condemned in 
the most unqualified manner, whilst the glorious minority, of whom Mr. 
Fergusson was one, were dined and feted all over the country. As Mr. 
Fergusson had taken so firm a stand in favor of the liberty of the Press, 
his constituents tendered him a banquet at Thorp s hotel, to express 
their disapproval of Mr. Christie s action, and their high appreciation of 
Mr. Fergusson s energetic opposition. About five hundred persons were 
present at the dinner, and a most emphatic vote of condemnation of the 
majority of the House was passed. Several other demonstrations of a 
similar character were got up in different parts of the country, at which 
Mr. Fergusson was tendered votes of thanks. The result was that at 
the commencement of the next session, it was found that, though the 
House did not feel disposed to reverse its action, a gallery had been 
built behind the Speaker, which not only offered better facilities for 
reporting, but prevented any interruption from members or any other 
persons. Thus, though not formally, yet practically, Mr. Christie was 
condemned by the Government and the country, and found that it is a 
hard thing to kick against the Press. Here, therefore, the matter was 
allowed to drop, and the first and last battle for the rights of the Press 
in Canadian parliaments was fought and won. 

During the Spring of this year, Mr. Wm. Lyon Mackenzie visited 
Guelph, and it may be interesting to reproduce his evidence as to the 
prosperity of the town. The cry most industriously raised by interested 
parties several years before, and once before alluded to in these pages, 
that Guelph was a failure, had never been allowed entirely to drop, and 
considering that Mr. Mackenzie could not, remembering the unflinching 
opposition which Guelph offered to his faction in 1837, have any very deep 
love for the town, his evidence is valuable. In writing to the New York 



66 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

Tribune he said: " I went up the country last week as far as Guelph, 
and saw one 300 acre farm close to Dundas, which I was offered at 
$1,200 thirty years since, but could not now obtain it for $60,000. Guelph 
is 26 miles north of Dundas, by a new road, graveled and macadamized, 
and I had the pleasure to go up in the Guelph coach (her first trip) and to 
return in the Prosperity, new and comfortable stages. When at Guelph 
1 6 years since, it consisted of a few houses now it is a hansome well- 
laid out village, with many elegant residences and substantial stone and 
frame houses, and the capital of the rich county of Waterloo, so named 
after a prosperous Pennsylvania Dutch settlement of 35 years duration. 
In 1831, there was scarcely a passable road in the county ; now two lines 
of stages leave Guelph thrice a day for Dundas and Hamilton by various 
routes, and one weekly line goes back to the Owen Sound settlement on 
Lake Huron, 85 miles distant." 

The Act to amend the Municipal Act of 1849 was passed this year, 
by which -those towns mentioned in Schedule D. omitted by an error, 
were incorporated, among them being Guelph. In this Act the limits 
and boundaries of the town are thus described: "The Town of Guelph 
is to consist of all that part of this Province situate in the County of 
Waterloo, and lying within the following limits, that is to say : Commenc 
ing at a point where the south-westerly side of the Edinburgh Road in 
the said County intersects the north-westerly side of the London Road 
produced in the said County ; thence, north-east, in a course along the 
north-westerly side of the London -Road, and crossing the river Speed, 
to the easterly bank thereof ; thence, along the said easterly bank, down 
the stream, and following the course thereof tcr its junction with the Era- 
mosa branch of the said river ; thence, crossing the said Eramosa branch 
in a direct line, to the south-easterly bank thereof; thence down the 
united stream along the south-easterly bank thereof, and following the 
course thereof, to a point where the said south-easterly bank intersects 
the south-westerly side of the said Edinburgh Road produced ; thence, 
north- west, following the course of the said road, to the place of begin 
ning." It was provided that the election of the first Council should be 
held on the first Monday in January 1851, the Council to consist of five 
members, to be constituted precisely similar to the then existing Town 
ship Councils, a Reeve to be chosen from the number elected, he to be a 
member of the County Council. The qualification of Councillors was 
fixed at ^100 real, or ^200 personal property. It was further provided 
that when the population amounted to 3,000 persons, it should be lawful 
for the Governor- General, on petition of the existing Council, to issue a 
proclamation dividing the town into three wards, no ward to be less than 
500 inhabitants. Three Councillors should then be chosen by each 
ward, and a Mayor chosen, in precisely the same manner as the Reeve. 

During this year Mr. J. Thorp commenced running a line of stages 
to Hamilton, three times a week, the time occupied in the journey being 
about six and a half hours. The line was subsequently run daily and the 
time reduced to five hours. The temperance movement having taken a 
strong hold in the town, a Division of the Sons of Temperance was 
formed by Rev. Mr. Dick, of Toronto, and a large membership was se 
cured. Martha Bourdon was tried on a charge of poisoning her husband 
with arsenic in Berlin, but upon the evidence of Drs. Orton and Clarke, 
to the effect that though death might have been produced by means of 
poison, it was possible that such was not the case, she was acquitted. 
Mr. T. R. Brock, an old and very highly esteemed resident of the town, 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. . 67 

who had for many years taken a prominent part in all the public matters, 
met with a fatal accident in September. He was going, with some of his 
children into the woods to shoot squirrels, and in crossing a log he struck 
his gun on the ground, and the charge exploded, discharging the contents 
of the gun in his breast, from the effects of which he died in a few hours. 
The Wellington Mills, now the People s Mills, were enlarged, and a joint 
stock company formed to work it, with Mr. Smith as the acting partner. 
This Company was shortly afterwards dissolved, and the mill was carried 
on by Smith, Lynch & Co., who added a bakery, and supplied bread at one 
penny per pound, about one fourth less than was being charged in Gait 
and other places. The partnership was subsequently dissolved and the 
mill was carried on by Fred. George & Co., for a considerable time. 

In January 1851, the election of members of the Town Council under 
the new law took place, resulting in the election of Messrs. E. Carroll, S. 
Smith, J. Thorp, W. Stevenson and E. Hubbard. The first meeting of the 
Council took place January 2oth, when Mr. Samuel Smith was chosen 
Reeve, and Mr. James Hough, who had resigned his position as Township 
Clerk, was appointed Clerk and Treasurer of the Town of Guelph. Thus 
was the town erected into an independent corporation, and completely 
severed from the township, of which it had hitherto formed a part, and 
in connection with which its business had been conducted. Previous to 
this all nominations and appointment of officers, as well as the transac 
tion of a variety of other public business, had usually taken place in the 
Market House, which building, as already described, consisted simply 
of a roof supported by posts. The annual elections were always field 
days for wiping off old scores of dissatisfaction contracted during the 
year, and for the perpetration of all manner of jokes by the waggishly 
inclined among the free and independent electors, who would sometimes 
make the most incongruous and ridiculous nominations, as, for instance, 
nominating an unpopular reeve for the position of poundmaster. The mode 
of taking the vote was also of the most simple kind, not trammeled with 
any of the protracted forms of modern conventions or voting by ballot, but 
literally a counting of polls, the electors passing through a narrow gate, 
and the Returning Officer touching each on the head as he passed, first 
those in favor of a motion or nomination, and then those against. As 
may be imagined, the rules of order were not very rigidly observed, and 
much fun and merriment were invariably extracted from the proceedings, 
the day usually winding up by all parties interested drowning their differ- 
erences in a flowing bowl at Thorp s or some other hostelry. 

The first meeting of the Township Council was held January 2Oth, 
the members being Messrs. B. Thurtell, R. Boyd, William Logan, J. 
Tolton and T. Hood. Mr. B. Thurtell was elected Reeve, and at a sub 
sequent meeting Mr. R. F. Budd was appointed clerk. The first meet 
ing of the new County Council was held on Monday, January 27th, the 
following being the members present: Arthur, J. McA. Cameron; Ben- 
tinck, Alexander Smith; Derby, R. Carney; Erin, W. Clarke and Donald 
McBain ; Eramosa, T. Armstrong; Egremont, J. Brown; Guelph, B. 
Thurtell; Guelph Town, Samuel Smith; Garafraxa, J. Donaldson; Glen- 
elg, Peter Watson; Holland, Thomas Willoughby; Maryborough, Hugh 
Hollinshead; Nichol, John Valentine; Normanby, John Robertson ; Peel, 
C. O Callaghan and J. Wilson; Puslinch, J. Cockburn and T. Ellis; 
Sydenham, Thomas Lunn ; Sullivan, W. Halliday ; Waterloo, Elias 
Snyder and H. Snyder ; Wellesley, John Hawke and G. Hawke ; Wilmot, 
J. Ernst and A. Kaiser ; Woolwich, John Meyers and E. Passmore. Mr. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



Thurtell was unanimously elected Warden, and Mr. A. Stephens and 
Mr. T. Heffernan were appointed auditors. 

The church of St. George, to the building of which reference has 
already been made, was now found to be quite inadequate to the accom 
modation of the rapidly increasing congregation, and it was therefore 
determined to build a larger edifice, of stone, the corner stone of which 
was laid July iyth, 1851, by Rev. Arthur Palmer, assisted by Rev. E. M. 
Stewart, Assistant Minister ; Rev. J. G. Gedcles, Hamilton ; Rev. M. 
Boomer, Gait ; Mr. Sheriff Grange, Mr. R. Jackson, Col. W. Hewat, 
churchwardens, and others. In the afternoon a sermon was preached by 
Rev. M. Boomer, from ist Peter, i. 1-5 ; after which the ceremony of 
laying the stone was performed. The Building Committee consisted of 
Messrs. F. W. Stone, James Wilson, G. J. Grange, A. A. Baker, W. H. 
Parker and Frederick Marcon, together with the Rector. The architect 
was Mr. William Thomas, and Messrs. John Worthington, John Har 
rison and James Thompson were the contractors. In the bottle placed 
in the stone were deposited: a parchment roll, inscribed with the names 
given above, Report of the Church Society for 1850, Charge of the Bishop 
of Toronto, delivered May 1851, Visitation sermon preached by Rev. A. 
Palmer, Scobie s Almanac for 1851, Circular from the Rector to the par 
ishioners, Appeal to the members of the Church in the Mother Country, 
Programme of Ceremonies used on this occasion, The Church of July 
loth, Guelph Advertiser of the 3rd July, and the Guelph HERALD of 
the 1 5th July. The estimated cost of the new building was ,2,500, and 
the work was at once commenced, but the original design was never fully 
carried out, only a part of the contemplat e d stone building being erected, 
as an addition to the original wooden structure. The work was com 
pleted in the course of a few months. 

For some time a scheme had been under consideration to erect a new 
Market House, and in February of this year it took definite shape by the 
circulation of a subscription list, the heading of which was as follows : 
"PROSPERITY TO GUELPH ! Proposal to raise ONE THOUSAND 
POUNDS, to build a NEW MARKET HOUSE ! ! The Agriculturists of Guelph 
and adjoining Townships have long felt the want of some Public Mart, to 
which they might resort for the purpose of turning their Produce into 
CASH ; and the Inhabitants of this Town having also long felt the want 
of such a place of general accommodation, the Undersigned hereby agree 
to take the numbers of Shares opposite their respective names, in the 
above important undertaking; such shares to be 5/each,andto be called 
up in installments of 2os each, at intervals of three months. A Committee 
of Management to be appointed when half the amount shall have been 
subscribed. " The estimated cost of the new building was \ 500, deben 
tures for which sum were to be issued, redeemable at 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 
years, the expectation being that the profits derived from the fees would 
be sufficient to meet the payments which would then become due. A 
public meeting was called to consider the matter, when it was announced 
that 121 shares at $ each had already been subscribed, which amount 
was ready for investment in debentures, but great opposition was offered 
to the scheme by Dr. Clarke and many others, and a very warm discus 
sion ensued, during which interested motives were imputed to the pro 
moters, .various recriminatory charges were made, the meeting finally 
separating without any definite action being taken. Another meeting 
was held shortly afterwards, but in the interim Dr. Clarke and his friends 
had organized a powerful opposition, and upon the question being put to 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 69 

the meeting whether the work should be undertaken or not, it was decided 
by a large majority that they did not want a Market House, and would 
not have it at any price, at least for the present. 

The railway mania had by this time fairly taken possession of the 
country, and Guelph had become infected with the contagion. In this 
case, unlike many others at that time, the desire for railway communica 
tion was a most laudable one, and the building of a line to bring the town 
into direct communication with some large business centre and shipping 
port was absolutely necessary to the prosperity of the town, and as the 
Great Western, with its contemplated branch to Gait, which was already 
being spoken of, would cut off a large portion of the trade from the town, 
it was of the most vital importance that a like advantage should be 
secured for Guelph. The question was therefore brought formally before 
the County Council in July, and a proposition was made that ,25,000 
stock should be taken in the proposed Toronto and Guelph railway, a 
scheme which would secure to this town much greater advantages than 
Gait would derive from the contemplated branch of the Great Western 
to that town. A public meeting was accordingly called to consider the 
proposition of the County Council, and the enthusiasm in favor of the 
plan was of the most intense description, and a deputation was at once 
appointed to proceed to Toronto to confer with the Directors of the 
Company on the subject, when it was arranged that if the amount named 
were voted for the railway, Guelph should be made the terminus of the 
road for the present, and should always be a first-class station. Subse 
quently a fusion of the rival companies, the Toronto and Goderich and 
Toronto and Lake Huron railways, and, a bill incorporating the Toronto 
and Guelph Railway Co. having passed the Legislature in August, the 
scheme was fairly floated, and on the news being brought to Guelph the 
excitement was most intense, cannon roaring and bonfires blazing in 
every direction. Shortly afterwards a by-law to grant the sum of ,25,000 
was submitted to the ratepayers, and carried by 112 to 6. In the Town 
ship a similar by-law was carried by 130 to 4, for granting 10,000, and 
by-laws were carried in other townships making grants of various amounts. 

Attracted doubtless by the splendid success which had attended the 
efforts of the promoters of the Toronto and Guelph Railway, a deputa 
tion, consisting of Mr. (now Hon.) Isaac Buchanan, Mr. A. Kerr and Mr. 
R. Juson, soon afterwards arrived from Hamilton, asking for a grant of 
3,000 per mile, to enable the Great Western Railway to continue their 
branch line from Gait to Guelph. The deputation was very cordially 
received, and the proposal very favorably considered, at a public meeting 
called by Sheriff Grange at the Court House, but, though, as will be seen 
hereafter, the work was subsequently completed, no action was taken in 
the matter at that time. 

In September of this year the agency of the Canada Company, 
which had up to that time been held by Mr. F. Marcon, was discontinued, 
and all books and documents were removed to the head ofHce in Toron 
to. In December the Guelph Horticultural Society was formed, with 
Mr. A. A. Baker as President, Messrs. W. S. G. Knowles, J. T. Tracy 
and W. Benham, Vice-Presidents, and Mr. Robert Sunley, Secretary- 
Treasurer. 

In the last session of the Legislature an Act had been passed, tempo 
rarily uniting the counties of Waterloo, Wellington and Grey for munici 
pal and judicial purposes, and also tor parliamentary representation, the 
entire district covering 150 square miles, and consisting of 33 townships, 



70 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

each of which sent a reeve, and some of them deputy reeves also, to the 
Council, so that, with the reeves of Guelph, Gait and Preston, the Coun 
cil consisted of 45 members. The first meeting was held January 26th, 
1852, Dr. Clarke being the member from Guelph, and Mr. Thurtell from 
Guelph Township. The members of the Town Council for 1852 were Dr. 
Clarke, Reeve; Messrs. J. Smith, G. Sunley, W. S. G. Knowles and Dr. 
Orton. 

In January the Puslinch Agricultural Club was formed into a sepa 
rate organization, so as to be entitled to their share of the Government 
grant made at the last session of Parliament. The President was Mr. 
John Cockburn, Vice-President Mr. John Hammersley, and the Secre 
tary-Treasurer, Mr. David Stirton. The Guelph Township Agricultural 
Society was formed at about the same time, in a few days 112 persons 
having subscribed not less than five shillings each to the funds. At the 
first meeting there were present, among others: Messrs. James Wright, 
Richard Jackson, James Loghrin, A. A. Baker, J. McCrea, J. Harland 
and D. Allan, Col. Hewat, Drs. Clarke and Liddell, Messrs. William 
Day, John Mitchell, James Davie, Thomas Card, A. Quarry, Joseph 
Jackson, John Card, Robert Scott, George Pearson, W. Nicholson, F. 
Marcon, A. Fisk, J. T. Tracy, W. Jackson, John Day, George Harvey, E. 
A. Harland, W. H. Parker, Arthur Hogge, Kenry Watson, George Mur- 
ton, Henry Lynch, C. Davis, J. C. Wilson, John Sauvey, G. Pirie, John 
Thorp, James Grahame and others. After the objects and nature of the 
society had been explained, and spme able speeches had been delivered, 
the following officers were elected: President, Mr. R. Jackson; Vice- 
President, Mr. John McCrea; Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. J. Harland; 
Directors, Messrs. James Wright, A. Hogge, W. Whitelaw, E. Hubbard, 
A. Ritchie, J. Card, R. Campbell, A. Quarrie and J. Davie. 

About this time an advertisement was published by the Canada Com 
pany, offering for sale the lower portion of the Market Square. This, as 
may be imagined, created no small consternation in the town, especially 
among those who owned property in that neighborhood, and a public 
meeting was called, at which a resolution was unanimously passed calling 
upon the Council to take such steps as might be necessary to prevent such 
an encroachment on the rights of property owners, and such a high-handed 
confiscation of what had always been looked upon as Town property. 
The Council consequently obtained the advice ot Mr. Fergusson, and 
the opinion of eminent counsel in Toronto, the result being that the case 
was thrown into Chancery, where it continued pending for a long time. 
At length the trial took place, when some score or more of witnesses were 
subpoenaed from Guelph, and in course of evidence it was clearly shown 
that on all the maps published by the Company the land in question was 
distinctly marked " Market Square," and, also, that in all sales of land in 
that vicinity, it had been clearly stated by the agents of the Company 
that it had been reserved as an open space for market purposes 
in perpetuity, upon which representations the adjacent lots had been con 
sidered far more valuable than those more remote. In reply to this the 
Company asserted that their agents had never been authorized to make 
such statements, but the Court held that the fact that all the agents had 
made the same representations, together with the evidence afforded by 
the maps, if not conclusive proof that it had been the intention of the 
Company so to reserve the land for a market as contended by the Town, 
was sufficient to entitle the Town to retain the land, and judgment was 
given accordingly, thus securing the land in question as a market place 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 71 

or for such municipal purposes as might be lawful, for ever. The Town 
Council this year was composed of Dr. Clarke, Reeve ; Messrs. W. S. 
G. Knowles, Dr. Orton, G. Sunley and J. Pipe. 

Early in this year another important step was taken in constituting 
Guelph a first-class town, and in affording to the inhabitants the facilities 
for rapid communication enjoyed by other places. In the course of the 
previous year the Montreal, or Grand Trunk Telegraph Company, had 
been vigorously engaged in extending their lines to various important 
points in Upper Canada, and in January of this year a deputation arrived 
in Guelph to ascertain how far the town would be likely to support an 
office here, and to what extent financial assistance would be granted in 
bringing the lines to this point. The Company asked a bonus of ^375 
for that purpose. A meeting was called to lay the matter before the 
people, and in a very short time the requisite amount was fully subscribed, 
and the work at once commenced, so that in June an office was opened, 
adjoining Thorp s Hotel, and from the commencement to the present 
time has proved one of the most remunerative offices, for a town of this 
size, in Canada. 

In the Upper Canada Gazette of January 22nd a proclamation was 
issued, erecting Waterloo into a separate county for all purposes, with 
Berlin as the County Town, much to the chagrin of the people of Gait, 
who had fcr some years been agitating the movement, with the expecta 
tion that that would be the county seat. The new county was adjudged 
to assume ,3,809 as its proportion of the debt which had been incurred 
in building the Guelph and Dundas Road and for other purposes, in 
accordance with the provisions of the Act 12 Vic. cap. 78, sec. 15. At 
the meeting of the County Council in Guelph on January 24th, therefore, 
only the members of the counties of Wellington and Grey were present, 
those two counties still remaining united. In this council Messrs. B. 
Thurtell and Thomas Hood were the members for Guelph Township, 
and Dr. Clarke for the Town. Dr. Clarke was elected Warden by a 
vote of 15 to 13. 

In March a bill was passed giving to the County of Wellington two 
representatives in Parliament, the county being divided into the North 
and South Ridings. The following were the townships, with the popula 
tion of each, in the respective ridings : 



NORTH RIDING. 



Nichol ...................... 2,459 

Garafraxa ................... 

Pilkinton ................... 



Peel ............... , ........ 2,455 

Maryborough ................ 994 

Amaranth ................... 335 

Arthur, Luther and Minto ..... 1,803 



Total 12,119 



SOUTH RIDING. 



Guelph Township 2,870 

Guelph Town 1,860 

Puslinch . . 3,862 



Eramosa 2 ?35 

Erin 3,590 



Total I 4 ? 54 I 



For a considerable time the bridge across the Speed at the Eramosa 
Road, known at that time as the Breakneck Bridge, had been in a very 
dilapidated condition, and it was now determined to replace it with an 
iron structure, at a cost of about ,700. During the succeeding summer 
the present bridge was erected by Mr. John Watt, the approaches on 
either side being graded at the same time. 

The old cemetery, situated in the angle between Wyndham and 
Woolwich streets, having been condemned, a plot of land, consisting of 



72 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

forty acres, situated in the Scotch Block, on the Elora Road, was pur 
chased for the sum of 600, and during the summer was partially laid 
out and fenced. By a special arrangement, ten acres of this was set 
apart as an Episcopal cemetery, in connection with St. George s Church. 

The Guelph and Gait Railway was now in a fair way of becoming 
an accomplished fact. In September, 1853, a rivalry sprung up between 
Gait and Preston as to which town should be the terminus of the road, 
and some sharp practice was resorted to by the Galtonians to secure the 
largest representation on the Board of Directors. Many straw men were 
induced to take shares for which they never expected to pay, and for 
which they never would be in a position to pay, in order to secure an addi 
tional number of votes in the election of Directors. Gait thought it was 
all secure, when, to their surprise and mortification, it was found that the 
day before the stock books closed, previous to the election, a bar-tender 
in Preston, named McCracken, had signed his name for shares to the 
amount of ,25,000, thus securing 1,000 votes, a coup which fairly stag 
gered the Gait people, and co mpletely swamped them in the election. 
Of course McCracken never paid a shilling for the shares, notwithstand 
ing that a suit was commenced though not proceeded with to compel 
him to do so. Previous to this Guelph had subscribed for ,10,000 of 
stock. Mr. Sheriff Grange was elected President of the Company, and 
he turned the first sod, near Gait, May 12, 1854. In September, 1853, 
ground was broken at Berlin for the Guelph and Sarnia Railway, a work 
which was vigorously proceeded with. 

In December, 1853, Mr. George Brown came to Guelph by invita 
tion of the Reformers to deliver an address "on the political questions of 
the day, and a large number of persons assembled to hear him. Unfor 
tunately for the harmony of the meeting, however, some of the Conserva 
tives, with a section of the Reformers, had sent an invitation to Mr. Wm. 
Lyon Mackenzie to be present, probably as much for a joke as anything 
else, and he arrived soon after Mr. Brown had commenced speaking. 
This was the signal for a general disturbance, the Reformers having 
announced that Mr. Mackenzie should not be allowed to speak, a privi 
lege which the Conservatives were equally determined should be accorded 
him. So great and uncontrollable did the interruption eventually become, 
that the Reformers adjourned to the Temperance Hall, and Mr. Macken 
zie addressed those who remained. 

The members of the Town Council this year were: Mr. W. S. G. 
Knowles, Reeve ; Messrs. John Pipe, John Harris, W. Stevenson and 
Dr. Clarke. 

By virtue of a proclamation published in the Ga-:.ettt in September, 
1853, the County of Grey was set apart for municipal, judicial and elec 
toral purposes. The first meeting of the Wellington County Council 
was held January 23rd, 1854, the following being the names of the mem 
bers: Amaranth, John Currie ; Arthur, Robert Morrison ; Eramosa, D. 
Black; Erin, William Clarke, Robert L. Campbell; Guelph Town, 
W. S. G. Knowles; Guelph Township, James Wright, George Shortreed; 
Garafraxa, J. Donaldson, John Dobbin ; Maryboro , Samuel Robertson ; 
Nichol, James Ross ; Peel (a double return), William Stutridge and P. 
O Reilly; J. Wilton and G. Molloy ; Pilkington, Hugh Roberts ; Puslinch, 
J. Ccckburn, D. Stirton. Mr. James Wright was elected Warden. Some 
alterations having become necessary in the arrangements for holding 
Division Courts, the following Divisions were adopted: No. I, Guelph 
Town and Township ; No. 2, Puslinch : No. 3, Eramosa : No. 4, Nichol 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 73 

concessions i to 10 in Garafraxa, and Peel from the 4th concession east 
ward ; No. 5, Erin, Amaranth, East Luther, and Garafraxa ; No. 6, Pil- 
kington, concessions n to 14, inclusive of Peel ; No. 7, Peel, concessions 
i to 10 inclusive, and West Maryborough ; No. 8, Arthur, East Mary 
borough, Minto and West Luther. 

At about this time the Guelph Mercury was first published, under 
the management of Mr. G. M. Keeling, Avho had for a time, in 1848, had 
the management of the Advertiser, which paper, now, under the manage 
ment of Mr. John Smith, who had resumed control some years previous 
ly, was published tri-weekly. 

The Baldwin administration, having been defeated on a question 
relating to the Clergy Reserves, a dissolution of Parliament took place, 
and on July iyth the nomination for South Wellington took place, when 
Mr. A. J. Fergusson was returned without opposition. The nomination 
in the North Riding took place the following day, the candidates being 
Dr. Clarke, of Guelph, Conservative, and Mr. George Barron, of Elora, 
Reformer. The canvass had been vigorously prosecuted by the Re 
formers for several months, but notwithstanding that, and the fact that 
Mr. Barron was far better known in that part of the county, Dr. Clarke 
was elected by an overwhelming majority. 

In August the county sustained a severe loss by the death of two of 
the most prominent citizens. The first was that of Mr. Wrn. D. Powell, 
Judge of the County and Surrogate Courts, a position which he had held 
since the retirement of Judge Fergusson in 1847, and the duties of which 
he had discharged with the greatest satisfaction to the entire community, 
and in which, though still a comparatively young man, he had acquitted 
himself in such a manner as to command the respect of the entire legal 
profession, and the warmest esteem of all with whom he came into con 
tact, not only for his conduct on the bench, but also for his self-sacrificing 
labors in promoting all movements for the interests of the town. He 
died suddenly August 2oth from epilepsy, superinduced by fatigue and 
exposure in driving from place to place in the discharge of his duties, in 
the various parts of the large counties of Wellington and Grey, over 
which his jurisdiction extended. A few days afterwards another useful 
citizen was removed, in the person of Mr. B. Thurtell, who, with the ex 
ception of two or three years, had represented Guelph Township in the 
District and County Councils from 1841, and had several times held the 
honorable position of Warden. 

In October a serious fire occurred on Wyndham and Macdonnell 
streets, in which about a dozen of the best stores in the town were burned, 
the loss amounting to several thousand pounds. In December another 
fire occurred in the new buildings recently erected by Dr. Clarke on 
Wyndham and Quebec streets, the Doctor s loss being about ,1,000, and 
others losing property to the value of .500 more. 

Guelph had latterly been attracting considerable attention, not only 
throughout Canada, but also in the United States, on account of the im 
portant position it was assuming in manufactories and general commerce, 
and also from the large quantities of grain and fine cattle sent from its 
market. As an indication of the interest felt in the town, it may be 
mentioned that the International Journal^ in September 1854, published 
a description of the town, which, though in some particular not quite 
correct, and in some respects partial in its notices of manufactories and 
buildings, may be worth reproducing here. It says : " Guelph (commonly 
pronounced Gwelf,) lies 14 miles north from Gait, and nearly 100 miles 



74 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

from Goderich on Lake Huron, to which there are daily stages over fine 
roads. Guelph was founded by Mr. Gait, the Canada Land Company s 
Agent or general Superintendent, about 20 years ago, and in 1850 the 
population was 4,399*- The houses are scattered over a large and rolling 
surface, and contrary to the usual order in Canadian cities and towns, 
many of the streets radiate from a central, open space, as the streets in 
Washington, D. C., radiate in all directions from the Capitol. The river 
Speed flows past the town, affording by a gradual fall of about 30 feet, 
a valuable water privilege for mills or other machinery. One gentleman, 
Frederick George, Esq., who came to the country a few years ago, as a 
farmer, has now upon the Speed, a flour mill with four run of stones, to 
which workmen are preparing to put in an addition of four pairs more. 
On the opposite side of the Speed, and connected with this mill by plat 
form and railway, there is a distillery, capable of using nearly 200 bushels 
of grain per day, and adjoining this there is a piggery containing 200 
sleek-looking " porkers. The same proprietor has on his premises a 
saw-mill, a tannery, and a building used for a foundry, which are leased 
to tenants. Besides these he has about 1200 feet of land fronting on 
either side of the Speed, with sufficient water power to drive the 
machinery in any buildings that may be erected on the premises for 
manufacturing purposes. The dam across the river is built 01 stone, and 
is amply secured from accident. There are two other Grist Mills in the 
town, owned by Mr. Wm. Allan, and Mr. Jas. Present ; a distillery by 
Mr. Allan ; a Brewery by Mr. Williams, and another by Mr. Hodgert ; 
and live malt kilns, owned by different individuals. There are three 
foundries in Guelph. The establishment of Mr. John Watt gives employ 
ment to over 60 men. The machine shop is in a large three-story stone 
building, the first and second stories of which are used for manufacturing 
and general machine work, the third for preparing patterns, &c., and the 
attic or half-story, is used as a pattern loft. In an L, or wing of the main 
building, is the moulding and casting room ; the blacksmith work being 
done in an adjoining building. Steam engines and boilers, mill work, 
stoves and agricultural implements, are manufactured at this establish 
ment. The Foundry and Tin-ware Manufactory of Smith, Mathewson 
& Co., is devoted to stoves, agricultural implements, c., and is a neat 
and well arranged establishment. The other foundry is that of Mr. A. 
Robertson, devoted to general castings and machinery. The tannery of 
Mr. John Harvey is very extensive, and turns out annually about 5000 
sides of sole leather, besides upper leather and kipskins. Mr. Gow has 
a large tannery in operation, and there are three others in the suburbs of 
the town, owned by Mr. Jackson, Mr. Clarke and Mr. Horning. A fan- 
ning-mill manufactory is carried on by Mr. James Mays, where fanners 
capable of cleaning a bushel of wheat per minute, are made and sold for 
$25 each. There is a chair factory in the town, carried on by Mr. Allen, 
and a number of furniture manufactories, some of which are aided by 
steam or water power, and use the most approved machinery for expedi 
tious work. Over the door of the ware-room of one of these establish 
ments, we noticed, on a sign in large letters : "Boston Rocking Chairs/ 
but whether that offered for sale was the genuine article or only an imi 
tation, we did not inquire. In the suburbs of the town, there is a woollen 
factory in operation, by Messrs. Campbell Co. Thorp s Hotel is a 
good house and well conducted. The proprietor has realized a fortune 
from its fruits, and is erecting his " Castle" on a beautiful hill-side in the 
suburbs, to which he will retire. The Hotel will be let, and is now in 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 75 

the market. The Grand Trunk Railway will pass near it, and will be 
opened to Toronto within a year, and the Gait branch of the Great West 
ern will be extended in a few months to the town. The " Wellington," 
by William Hood, is a commodious house ; and we notice the " Farmer s 
Arms" by Wm. Underbill, the "Railroad Inn" by Wm. Temple, and 
" Mechanic s Arms " by Thomas Ingraham, &c. A new hotel, of large 
size, has been erected, and is ready for a tenant ; it is built of stone, with 
narrow doors, narrow windows, &c., and has altogether too much of the 
stiff, strait-jacket appearance for the modern taste and fancy of travellers. 
Were a stranger in search of a nunnery he would as likely direct his 
steps to the new hotel as to the convent on the hill, for they are as near 
alike, externally, as can well be conceived. However, travellers will not 
quarrel about the exterior of a hotel if the table d hote, and other essen 
tials, come up to their reasonable ideas of comfort. Guelph has a tri 
weekly, and three weekly papers, and an intelligent, social, hospitable, 
and enterprising community." 

The limits of the town having been considerably enlarged, and it 
being expected that this would be the last council under the existing 
arrangements, before the regular incorporation, the election for council 
lors in January 1855 was very hotly contested, as it was thought very 
probable that the members of the council this year would have a very- 
fair chance of election under the new law, when the head of the Corpora 
tion would be the Mayor, instead of the Reeve. On the day of nomina 
tion, therefore, a large crowd assembled, and great excitement prevailed, 
each of the candidates being very popular, and the difficulty with most 
of the electors appearing to be, whom they should select. The nomina 
tion took place at the Court House, on January ist. Mr. S. H. Garrard 
nominated Messrs. J. Harris, J. Watt, J. Pipe, J. Smith and P. Gow, who 
were seconded by Mr. Geo. Pirie. Mr. J. W. B. Kelly nominated Messrs. 
J. Harris, J. Watt, Wm. Stevenson, Robt. Scott and W. S. G. Knowles. 
All these gentlemen went to the poll, but after about an hour Mr. Scott 
retired. At about three o clock on the second day Mr. Stevenson also 
retired, having polled in the two days 56 votes. At the close of the poll 
the votes stood as follows : Harris 182, Gow 178, Watt 170, Pipe 
169, Smith 148, Knowles 140, showing a remarkably close run. 
Messrs. Harris, Gow, Watt, Pipe and Smith were therefore declared 
elected, and at the first meeting of the Council, on January i6th. Mr. 
John Smith was chosen Reeve. 

The members of the Township Council for this year were, Mr. T. 
Hood (reeve), Mr. W. Whitelaw (deputy reeve), Mr. G. Shortreed, Mr. 
M. Sweetnam and Mr. R. Cooper. The meetings of the Council were 
held at Blyth s hotel, the sum of ,15 being paid for the accommodation. 

One of the first subjects which claimed the attention of the ratepayers 
this year was a proposed Bill to amend the Gait and Guelph Railway 
Act, among the proposed provisions of which were, the giving to each 
municipality subscribing for stock in the Company, certain representation 
on the Board of Directors ; the extension of the railway from Guelph to 
Owen Sound ; the building of a branch to some suitable point on the 
northerly part of the eastern shore of Lake Huron ; and also an extension 
from Preston to Berlin, and thence to some suitable point on Lake 
Huron ; and also an extension from Preston to Paris ; to increase the 
amount of stock from ,140,000 to ,1,500,000, and to increase the amount 
the Company was authorized to borrow by their Act of Incorporation 
from .50,000 to ,1,000,000. To this Bill there was great opposition, 



76 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

when the full meaning of its provisions were explained to the people, 
which, however, was not until it had nearly slipped through a second 
reading. Subsequently an amended Bill was brought in, giving to each 
municipality subscribing ,5000 a seat at the Board ; allowing the con 
struction of the extension from Guelph to Sydenham, or some suitable 
place near that village, and also the extension from Preston to Berlin, 
subject to the approval of the Governor in Council. It also provided for 
the increase of the capital from ,140,000 to ,550,000. A further proviso 
was that the Owen Sound, or Sydenham line should not be commenced 
until ,350,000 of the stock was taken, and 10 per cent, paid thereon ; nor 
the one to Berlin until ,50,000 stock should be taken, with the like 
proportion paid. Sections 5 and 6 provided that as the Great Western 
Railway and the Gait & Guelph Railway Companies were desirous of 
entering into an arrangement for the working and leasing of the road, 
power should be given to the said Companies to make arragements for 
that purpose, the Great Western to grant assistance, by providing iron, 
c., for the railway, or to build and finish the works of the Gait and 
Guelph Company, the amount of such advance or assistance to be a first 
charge on the works. The extension to Owen Sound was to be com 
menced within three years and finishe 1 within seven years. By a final 
arrangement, made in October, Guelph subscribed an additional amount, 
making the total stock held by the Town ,20,000, this action being 
endorsed by a public meeting held October 4th, and effected by the 
Council a few days later. 

Throughout the whole of the British Ejnpire a movement, which 
originated in London, England, and the ramifications of which extended 
wherever the English tongue was spoken, had for some time been in 
operation, for the raising of a fund, known as the Patriotic Fund, for the 
relief of the widows and orphans, and others who suffered by the conse 
quences of the Crimean war, which at this time did not appear likely to 
cease for some time. Appeals were published, and sent to every city, 
town and village throughout the British possessions, for contributions 
towards this noble object, and everywhere were they right nobly respond 
ed to. In Canada, the modes of raising contributions were various, in 
many places the favorite mode being by a regular assessment, and among 
other places Toronto and Hamilton adopted this plan, but Guelph, true 
to the benevolent instincts which had always characterized it, as in the 
case of the appeal for help for the poor suffering Irish people when the 
potato famine brought such misery and suffering on that fair land, re 
solved to adopt the voluntary principle, the people preferring to give 
what they had to give freely, rather than have their benevolent offerings 
put upon the basis of an ordinary tax. In other places the amount of the 
assessment was in the proportion of ,ioo for every 1,000 inhabitants, 
which would have made the sum to be raised in Guelph about .300, had 
this method of raising the money been adopted. Toronto and Hamilton 
did, with some difficulty, and also with some expense, raise the sums 
expected from them, but Guelph did more. Here, hundreds of willing 
and energetic workers were found, among all classes, young and old, and 
instead of the .300 which was expected from Guelph, upwards of ^45 
was soon raised and forwarded to headquarters, being more than half as 
much again in proportion to the number ot inhabitants as was raised in 
the cities where the assessment was made, and where, in some instances, 
there was no little dissatisfaction expressed at being compelled to pay, 
whether the people would or not. That the benevolence of Guelph was 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 77 

duly appreciated, even in the cities where the tax was adopted, may be 
readily inferred from the following, clipped from the Toronto Old Conn- 
try?nau, which was only one newspaper in a hundred which made the 
graceful acknowledgement of Guelph s superior benevolence: 

" The only commanity in Canada in which there appears to be any 
enthusiasm about the Patriotic Fund is the little town of Guelph. There 
they seem to be proudly conscious that there is no disgrace in poverty 
honestly come by. The rich have given of their abundance, and the 
poor of their penury, and the scores who have placed their published 
names opposite sums of sevenpence halfpenny and threepence, are worthy 
of all praise, and will in no wise lose their reward. 1 his noble feeling 
will reflect eternal honor upon the whole district. Perchance the very 
name of their town, being that of the royal lacy who occupies the proud 
est throne in Christendom, may have its influence, as well as the fact 
that many of its inhabitants are countrymen of him who is the father of 
the future kings of England, and the husband of their gracious Queen. 
Nobly, right loyally done, men of Guelph! We devoutly wish that there 
was something of the same good spirit in other places we wot of. Your 
donations have been heartily given, and may He who seeth in secret one 
day reward you openly, for this your free-will offering to the fatherless 
and the widows in their bereavement." 

Among the leading members of the County Agricultural Society, 
none had for many years been more active and zealous in promoting the 
interests of the farmers, both by his efficient and untiring exertions, as 
secretary and treasurer, and by his practical suggestions whenever an 
opportunity offered, than Mr. John Harland. It was therefore deter 
mined to make some acknowledgment of his services, and a subscription 
was taken up among the members of the association for this purpose, and 
on the evening of March 24th a dinner was given in his honor at the 
British Hotel, a very large number of gentlemen from all parts of the 
county being present. After dinner Mr. John McCrae, in the name of 
the Society, presented him with an address, which, besides alluding to 
his general usefulness, contained the following passages: " Your general 
knowledge of agriculture, the first and most noble employment given to 
man, pointed you out as the most fit and proper person to organize the 
Agricultural Society for this fine county, of which you|have been and are 
so distinguished a member, and in the success of which you have been 
so devoted an advocate. To you the continued progress of the Society, 
and the advantages thereof brought before the public, ; f must in the main 
be attributed, for although you may have been directed and encouraged 
by the body of the Directors, yet without your constant aid and advice, 
the various presidents and directors never would have brought the Society 
into successful working order. Again, as a member of the Board of 
Agriculture, and your essay on the capabilities of our county, brought 
your name before the public, and made known to the Province the fitness 
of the soil of our county to bring all the cereal productions of the earth 
to perfection, as well as the capabilities to raise the finest stock in Cana 
da, encouraging the industrious immigrant to make a settlement among 
us." The address was accompanied by a presentation of a handsome 
cup, salver and snuff-box, all in silver, manufactured in Toronto. 

For two or three years past, it had been evident that some action 
would have to be taken by the School Trustees to provide a Central 
School building, those buildings then in use being altogether inadequate 
to the accommodation of the large and ever increasing number of chil- 



78 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



dren in attendance. In 1854, therefore, a committee of the Board was 
appointed to obtain information respecting sites which might be available 
for the erection of a suitable building, and reported : ist. That there 
are within the Corporation upwards of eight hundred children between 
the ages of five and sixteen years. 2nd. That the two School Houses 
belonging to the town will not accommodate more than one-fourth of 
that number ; also, that one building is in a bad state of repair, and 
situate so near the Railway that it would be advisable to remove from it 
altogether. 3rd. That the Trustees have been under the necessity of 
hiring school accommodation at the cost of about thirty- five pounds per 
annum ; they have also received notice from the landlord of the Female 
School Room that he will require it for other purposes at midsummer, 
and that the school house at present in charge of Mr. Hough, may be 
required in like manner, as the term for which it was rented expires at 
that time. 4th. That under the present management the Trustees employ 
four Teachers, at an aggregate salary of three hundred and twenty pounds 
a year. The Committee would therefore recommend the selection of a 
suitable site of not less than one acre in a central part of the town, and 
the building of a School House of sufficient dimensions to accommodate 
the present and fast increasing school population, and place the same 
under the management of one efficient Head Teacher, where all the ad 
vantages of centralization will be acquired without a large additional out 
lay to the ratepayers. No definite action was taken on this matter until 
April 1855, when a largely attended meeting was held at the Court House 
to consider the question. It was then announced that offers had been 
made for the sale to the Board of lots 1046 , 1047, 1051 and 1052, com 
prising about an acre of ground, on the crown of the hill, adjoining the 
Catholic church property, which might be had for .445. After some 
discussion it was decided to purchase these lots, but, as will appear later 
on, no steps were taken for some time towards the erection of the pro 
posed building, temporary accommodation being found in other places. 
Up to this time the Methodist body had been worshipping in a small 
building, which had long since become too small for them, and during 
the winter of 1854-5, an energetic effort had been made to raise subscrip 
tions for the erection of a commodious stone church, on the corner of 
Norfolk and Cork Streets. These efforts had been so far successful, 
that in April of this year a sufficient sum had been raised to warrant the 
commencement of the building, and on the 23rd of April the foundation 
stone was laid. A short service was held in the church then in use, 
immediately adjoining the site ofj the new building, after which the con 
gregation adjourned to where the corner stone was to be laid, which, after 
the usual preliminary services, was performed by Mr. John McLean. In 
the cavity of the stone Mr. Wm. Day placed a bottle, containing the 
following : The name of His Excellency the Governor-General of this 
Province. The date when this bottle was deposited, and this foun 
dation stone laid ; and the name of the gentleman who laid it. The 
names of the ministers present on this occasion. The names of the 
President of the Canada Conference of the Wesleyan Church, and of the 
Chairman of the District and Superintendent of the Circuit. The names 
of the Trustees of the Guelph Wesleyan Church. The names of the 
Ladies of the Guelph Wesleyan Bazaar. The names of the Choir. The 
number of members belonging to the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Town 
of Guelph. The names of the gentlemen composing the Town Council, 
and Municipal Officers; population of the Town of Guelph for 1853; 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 79 

annual assessment of real and personal property in the Town of Guelph 
for the year 1854 duly authenticated by the seal of the municipality. 
Names of County Officers and other gentlemen. Names of the Members 
of Parliament. Names of the Contractors and Architect. Copies of the 
Guelph HERALD, Advertiser, Mercury, and the Christian Guardian and 
some small coins. Addresses were ther, delivered by Mr. John McLean, 
Mr. Wm. Day, Rev. Lewis Warner, pastor, and Rev. G. Goodson, of 
St. Catharines former pastor, after which a soiree was held in the old 
chapel, when several addresses were delivered, and a number of anthems 
sung by the choir. The estimated cost of the building was ,2400, the 
contractors being, for the stone work, Mr. Freeman, and for the wood 
work, Messrs. Hatt & Robinson. 

In May, Mr. John Pipe, in consequence of the pressure of business, 
which required his presence in England for a few months, resigned his 
seat at the Council Board, he at the same time stating that he considered 
the business to come before the Council during the year of so much im 
portance, that he could not consent to have his place at the Board vacant 
so long. The resignation was, of course, accepted, and in the following 
week Mr. Fred.. George and Mr. George Elliott were brought forward as 
candidates for the vacant seat. The election was very close, but resulted 
in the election of Mr. George, by a majority of nine votes only. 

In the early part of this year the Baptists in the town had taken steps 
to erect a place of worship, they previously having been compelled to 
meet in a school-house. Funds were soon raised, and a neat frame chapel 
erected on Norfolk Street, and on Sunday, July 8th, it was opened for 
Divine worship. The Rev. Mr. Booker, of Hamilton, preached in the 
forenoon, selecting for his text Nehemiah, 2nd chap., and 2oth verse : 
" The God of heaven, he will prosper us ; therefore we his servants will 
arise and build." The Rev. Mr. Clarke, of Nassagaweya, preached in 
the afternoon and evening, on both occasions from Genesis, 29th chap,, 
1 7th verse, last clause: " This is none other than the house of God, and 
this is the gate ot heaven." The different discourses were alike earnest, 
evangelical, and appropriate, and the chapel was well tilled at each ser 
vice. On Monday evening, a soiree was held in the chapel, which was 
well attended The provisions made for the sustentation of the outward 
man was profuse, and highly creditable to the ladies of the congregation. 
On removal of the tables, Mr. E. Hubbard was called to the chair, and 
after the assembly had. joined in singing and in prayer, addresses appro 
priate to the occasion, and marked by much brotherly feeling and 
catholicity of spirit, were delivered by the Revs. McDougall and Booker, 
and other gentlemen present. The sum realized at the different services 
amounted to about ^20. 

Towards the close of the year the interest in the contemplated incor 
poration of Guelph as a town gradually increased, and some warm 
discussions were held on the subject. Up to this time Guelph had ranked 
in schedule D. in the Municipal Act, and was called a town only by virtue 
of its being the seat of the county buildings and offices. Now it was 
proposed to place it in schedule B., and to divide it into wards, with an 
increased number of councillors and with a Mayor as the presiding officer. 
The HERALD and Advertiser both advocated this measure, but the 
Mercury opposed it, Mr. G. Keeling, the editor of that paper making 
some most absurd and extravagant statements with respect to the propos 
ed change, with a view to influence persons to sign a petition against the 
proposed incorporation. Among the other bugbears conjured up by this 



80 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

gentleman to frighten the people, was the statement that the incoporation 
would entail upon the town an additional expenditure of about ,1200, 
^400 as salary for the Mayor, ^250 or ,300 for a Chamberlain, besides 
payment of Councillors and an endless array of officers of various grades. 
This was represented as necessary under the Act, although in fact the 
Act provided that the payment of the Mayor and Councillors should be 
altogether optional. The other two papers in harmony with the great 
body of the ratepayers, urged that the town having reached the requisite 
status as to population 3000, was in duty to itself, and in defence of 
the business interests of the inhabitants, bound to take the necessary steps 
for incorporation, and so maintain its position among the neighboring 
municipalities, some of which were petitioning for such incorporation 
even before they had acquired the population specified in the 
Act. It was rightly urged, also, that it was a duty which a community 
owed to the country at large, as soon as it had reached that stage of de 
velopment and prosperity contemplated by the Act, to take advantage 
of the privileges and rights to which it was entitled, and thus add 
not only to its own importance, but to the general well-being of the 
country. The majority of the Council took the same view, and accord 
ingly ordered a census to be taken, with a view to the division of the 
town into wards, some of them favoring three wards, and others four. It 
was decided, however, at a meeting of the Council held November i5th, 
that the Town of Guelph be divided into three wards as follows: All 
below the Grand Trunk Railroad and Market street one Ward. Com 
mencing at the Railroad, running along Quebec and Paisley streets to 
the Town Line, thence to and along Market street, to the place of begin 
ning: The remainder another Ward ; And that the Reeve and Mr. Gow 
be a Committee to prepare the necessary papers and proceed to Toronto 
for the purpose of arranging the matter with the Governor General. On 
the following day the Reeve, Mr. John Smith and Mr. Gow proceeded 
to Toronto with the petition of the Council, and on the same day Messrs. 
George, Keeling, Watt, Scott, S. Smith and Kelly proceeded there also, 
with a counter petition signatures for which had been actively sought 
during the day. When this became known, a number of ratepayers met 
and drew up a petition supporting the action of the Council, 
and on the following Monday 260 signatures had been procured. 
Messrs. Sandilands, Harris, Day, Sunley, and Fisher then went to To 
ronto to support the Reeve and Mr. Gow in their audience with the 
Attorney General, the Postmaster General and the Inspector General, 
and impress upon them the desirabilty of a division into four wards. 

Some misrepresentations having been made by the counter memori 
alists to the Governor-General, at the next meeting of the Council Mr. 
Gow introduced a memorial, as under, which was adopted, and duly 
forwarded : 

To His Excellency Sir Edmund Walker Head, Bart., Governor-General 
of British North America, &^c\, &*., &*c. 

The Memorial of the Town Council of the Town of Guelph humbly 
showeth : 

That the rapid advance of the Town of Guelph in wealth and popu 
lation, the large boundaries of the municipality, and important financial 
and other interests, loudly call for more extended corporate powers, and 
an addition to the number of councillors it at present possesses. 

That the subject of an advance of this municipality from Schedule 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 81 

D. of the Municipal Act to Schedule B., has long been under considera 
tion, and was at one time contemplated by the Council of 1854 when an 
extension of the boundaries of the corporation was sought for at the 
hands of the Government; but that it was finally postponed to give an 
opportunity of taking the census showing the population of the present 
year. 

That in carrying out such intention, and from a full conviction of the 
advantages likely to ensue therefrom, the initiative steps were taken by 
the unanimous concurrence of the Council in April last, in instructing the 
assessors to take the census with the assessment, for which purpose addi 
tional columns were inserted in the assessment schedule, as may be seen 
by the one annexed, marked A. 

That on the 28th of June last, the Clerk of this Council was instruct 
ed by resolution hereunto annexed, marked B., to prepare a full state 
ment of the population of certain divisions of the town therein mentioned; 
but that although frequently requested to carry out such resolution, the 
same was delayed until the beginning of October last, when it was agreed 
by resolution annexed, marked C, that three persons should be appointed 
to take a fresh and more perfect census of the municipality, which was 
returned bv the Clerk two weeks thereafter. 

** 

That on such census being received by the Council, a petition to 
Your Excellency in Council was unanimously adopted by your memorial 
ists, praying that Your Excellency in Council would be pleased to issue 
a proclamation declaring Guelph a town in Schedule B., with three 
wards, as therein described ; setting forth that your petitioners believed 
such division the most desirable and equitable that could be made ; 
which after due consideration your memorialists are desirous of repeating. 

That on the occasion referred to, your memorialists had presented to 
them a petition against any division of the town into wards, of which a 
copy marked D. is hereunto annexed, in which the objection urged was, 
that " it would necessarily lead to the creation of a number of new muni 
cipal offices, largely increased expenditure, and increased taxation," the 
incorrectness of which your memorialists were so fully aware of, and the 
same must be so well known to your Excellency and your constitutional 
advisers, that they do not deem it necessary to offer one single reason 
for rejecting it. Further: That although such petition had attached 
thereto 231 names, this Council is assured by their Clerk that upwards of 
90 thereof are not those of municipal electors. 

That on the transmission of the aforementioned petition of the Coun 
cil to Toronto, your memorialists are informed that a counter petition 
was addressed to your Excellency, setting forth that the municipal peti 
tion was only adopted on the casting vote of the Reeve, and praying the 
disallowance of the same on the plea that the divisions asked for were 
unjust. That such petition was signed by about 120 persons, of whom a 
number were not municipal electors, nor will have any voice in the next 
election, and that such petition was carried to Toronto by several parties 
opposed to the action of the Council. 

That upon such proceedings becoming known, 261 "householders 
and freeholders " of the municipality signed a petition in a few hours, 
praying your Excellency in Council to grant the request of the corpora 
tion, and declaring the division therein asked for to be fair and equitable. 
And one of the largest and most respectable deputations that ever left 
Guelph waited upon certain members of your Excellency s administration, 
and urged the granting of the request of the Council. 



82 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

That at a subsequent meeting of the Town Council corrected min 
utes of previous proceedings of that body were forwarded to the Hon. 
the Provincial Secretary, for the information of your Excellency. 

That the time is rapidly approaching for another election, and it will 
be necessary for your memorialists to pass a By-law for appointing Re 
turning Officers, should Your Excellency see fit to grant their request. 
Your memorialists therefore humbly pray that your Excellency in Council 
assembled will cause the immediate issue of a proclamation declaring 
Guelph a Town in schedule B, as prayed for in a former petition, with 
the ward divisions therein described. 

And your Memorialists as in duty bound will ever pray, c., c. 

Dated at Guelph this 7th day of December, 1855. 

(Signed,) JNO. SMITH, Reeve. 

JAS. HOUGH, Town Clerk. 

At a meeting of the Council in the following week it was unani 
mously resolved to send a petition to the Governor-General, praying for 
the division of the town into four wards, the line of the Grand Trunk 
Railway to form the division line in one direction, the Dune as Road, 
Gordon Street, Wyndham Street, and the Woolwich Road being the 
intersecting lines, the four wards centreing in the Market Square, thus 
securing the erection of the future Market House in that locality, the 
object for which the majority had all along contended, though some per 
sons, having property in other places, had been opposed to this location. 

At a meeting of the Council in December it was proposed to open 
negotiations with the trustees of St. Andrew s church, for the purchase of 
that building, with the site, for the purpose of building a Market House 
and Town Hall, the want of a suitable council chamber being very much 
felt, and as the town was now on the eve of taking a higher rank in the 
municipalities, it was thought right that it should possess correspondingly 
adequate buildings. It was also felt that the town had now reached such 
proportions, and had attained that position in wealth and importance, as 
to render it necessary that a public hall should be provided, for the hold 
ing of meetings and for the transaction of public business, instead of 
using the Court House, rooms in taverns, or such other rooms as might 
happen to be available. This was the opinion also of the Council, but as 
the Reeve pointed out, the suit between the Town and the Canada Com 
pany regarding the Market Square, in which the church would be in 
volved, was still pending, it having been taken to the Court of Appeal, 
and it was not certain that the trustees of the church would be able to 
give a title to the land. The question was therefore laid over for the 
time, until a final decision was given. 

The annual dinner of the St. Andrew s Society this year was the 
most interesting and largely attended since the formation of the society. 
One reason for this was the presence in town of a large number of gen 
tlemen, many of them Scotch, to attend the sale that day, of a portion of 
the land belonging to the Macdonald estate. Hon. (now Sir) John A. 
Macdonald, owner of the property, was present, and was warmly greeted 
by gentlemen on both sides of politics. At noon a sumptuous lunch was 
partaken of at the British Hotel, after which the party adjourned to the 
Macdonald property, when the sale commenced, some of the properly 
sold that day bringing as much as ,10,000 per acre, corner lots on the 
Market Square reaching ,2,000 cash, and square lots fetching 20 per 
foot frontage, exclusive of the buildings. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 83 

In the evening a grand dinner was given at the Wellington Hotel, 
Mr. Fergusson, M. P. P., in the chair, supported on his right and left by 
Hon. John A. Macdonald, Mr. John McLean, Mr. James Webster. Mr. 
W. Hewat, Mr. Peter Gow, Mr. Whitelaw and others. After the usual 
loyal toasts, Mr. Gow gave " The Attorney-General West, and the Bar of 
Upper Canada," and in reply Hon. John A. Macdonald is said to have 
made one of the best after dinner speeches he ever delivered. In the 
course of his remarks, he said that when he came to Guelph he little 
anticipated the pleasure of the evening s entertainment, for, visiting the 
town on business, he thought of himself and his pocket rather than of St. 
Andrew, which was quite excusable seeing he was a Scotchman. He 
certainly anticipated meeting a large company of respectable gentlemen 
at the afternoon sale, but he was surprised and delighted to see so numer 
ous, so large an assemblage from the town and neighborhood in remem 
brance of the country that gave them birth. But that delight was much 
increased when he heard himself and the Bar of Upper Canada thus 
toasted and so heartily responded to by men so intelligent, so respectable 
and so influential. The speaker having jocosely and with hearty good 
will, disposed of his profession, next referred to the day, and the objects 
of the association they were then celebrating, which he considered of vital 
service to the community at large, for whether the Society had reference 
to Englishmen, Irishmen, or Scotchmen, it gave them a unity of purpose 
and enabled them to give a properreception to those who from time to time 
come amongst them ; whilst the circumstance made them none the less 
loving neighbors and good citizens. In conclusion he congratulated the 
inhabitants of Guelph upon the present and future prospects of the place, 
reminded them that although that was his first visit, he was a land holder 
here, and his interest was wrapped up in its prosperity, he therefore asked 
permission to give t( the Town and Trade of Guelph." Some other toasts 
followed, with songs, &c., after which the company separated, much 
gratified at having had the pleasure of hearing so eloquent a speech as 
that given by the Attorney-General. 

The year 1856 was a notable one in the history of Guelph, as marking 
the commencement of a new era in its progress and importance. The first 
election under the new organization took place on Monday and Tuesday 
January i4th and I5th. In the South Ward there was no contest, Messrs. 
W. Day, W. Atkins and Peter Gow being nominated by Mr. Fisher, and 
seconded by Mr. John Clarke, were returned by acclamation. Mr. Henry 
Hughes was at the same time elected Tavern Inspector for the Ward. 
In the East Ward the contest was exciting, Messrs, J. C. Presant, Evan 
Macdonald and R. Thompson being nominated by Mr. W. Dyson, and 
seconded by Mr. Penfold, with Mr. James O Reilly as Tavern Inspector 
and Messrs. J. C. Presant, Thomas Williams and William Crowe, with 
Mr. James Harris as Tavern Inspector, nominated by Mr. Thomas Hus 
bands, and seconded by Mr. Thomas Hewer. As Mr. Crowe and Mr. 
McDonald declined running against each other, it was determined that a 
show of hands should decide which of the two was to retire, and the 
majority being favorable to Mr. McD. the latter retired. Great efforts 
were made to enlist the sympathies of the electors in favor of Mr. Wil 
liams, and sleighs with flaming handbills ran rapidly through the ward, 
but few were tempted to take a seat, and on Monday night the poll stood, 
Presant 23, Thompson 19, McDonald 18, Williams 14 ; with O Reilly 
one ahead of Harris for the Inspectorship. On Tuesday two more votes 
were given for the first three names, and the poll closed at noon. Just as 



84 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

the poll closed, Mr. Thos. Husbands handed to the Returning Officer a 
protest against the election, on the plea of their not being 500 inhabitants 
in the ward, as required by the Act, but this was not pressed. In the 
North Ward the election was held at the Court House, and the returning 
officer appointed by the Council refusing to act, the ratepayers chose 
Mr. John Harvey, whereupon Mr. E. Hubbard proposed, and Mr. John 
Harrison seconded, the nomination of Messrs. John Thorp, F. George, 
and A. Robertson, with Mr. James Mays as Tavern Inspector. Mr. 
Thomas Anderson moved, seconded by Mr. John McQuillan, a ticket in 
which the only difference was, Mr. David Allan for Mr. F. George ; and 
in commencing polling considerable activity was displayed. About one 
o clock on the second day the poll closed for want of voters, when the 
votes stood thus: Thorp 61, George 55, Robertson 49, Allan 24. For 
Inspector there was no contest. The West Ward appeared from the 
first to attract most attention, from the strenuous efforts made to prevent 
the return of Mr. John Smith, his nomination being very unpalatable to 
a certain portion of the ratepayers. After some delay, arising out of the 
difficulty in settling the tickets to suit some malcontents on both sides, 
Mr. Fraser moved, and Mr. Barber seconded the nomination of Messrs. 
Samuel Smith, G. Elliott and Robert Scott as Councillors, and Mr. 
Joseph Higginson as Inspector. Mr. J. T. Tracey moved, and Mr. Ain- 
lay seconded, that Messrs. G. Elliott, George Sunley and John Smith be 
Councillors, and Mr. William Wilson be Inspector. The show of hands 
was in favor of the second ticket, and after a slight delay the polling 
commenced with vigor, the votes at the end standing thus:- -Elliott 69, 
John Smith 57, Sunley 55, Samuel Smith 26, "Scott 24. For Inspectors, 
Wilson 49, Higginson, 21. During the second day there was little inter 
est felt or exertion made as the above figures had decided the contest, 
and on two or three occasions nearly an hour elapsed without a vote, but 
as the Candidates lowest on the poll would not retire whilst there was 
hope of a vote, it was not until 3 p. m. that the poll closed, when the 
numbers stood, Elliott 89, John Smith 65, Sunley 60, Samuel Smith, 47, 
Scott 43 Wilson 53, Higginson 29. 

The choice of Councillors for the Township was less interesting than 
for many years past, no contest taking place in either of the wards, Mr. 
W. Whitelaw, Mr. G. Shortreed and Mr. M. Sweetnam being returned 
without opposition for the wards they respectively represented the 
previous year, and Mr. John Rannie and Mr. A. Ouarrie being elected in 
the places of Mr. R. Cooper and Mr. Thos. Hood, who were not candi 
dates on this occasion. 

In consequence of the division of the town into wards, the old Board 
of School Trustees became dissolved, and an election of two trustees was 
required for each ward. In conformity with the law, Mr. Newton, the 
Returning Officer, called a meeting of the electors on the i5th January, 
at Underbill s tavern, when, on the motion of Mr. Q. Elliott, seconded 
by Mr. Robt. Scott, Mr. Samuel Smith was elected ; and on motion of 
Mr. Sunley, seconded by Mr. Horning, Mr. Geo. Pine was elected, both 
unanimously. In the East Ward Mr. Presant moved, seconded by Mr. 
Orme, that Messrs. W. Crowe and Alex. Emslie be elected, which was 
carried by acclammation. In the South Ward Messrs. John Clarke and 
W r . Stevenson were returned, and in the North Ward, two of the former 
trustees, Messrs. John Harrison and W. Heather were elected. 

On Monday, 2ist, the newly elected Town* Councillors met at the 
Court House, and organized by presenting to the Clerk their oaths of 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 85 

office. The Clerk then announced the election returns as follows : 
West Ward Messrs. Geo. Elliott, John Smith and George Sunley. 
South Ward Messrs. Wm. Day, Peter Gow and Wm. Atkins. East 
Ward Messrs. Jas. C. Presant, Evan McDonald and Robert Thompson. 
North Ward Messrs. John Thorp, Fred. George and Adam Robertson. 
The chairman stated that a proclamation having been issued by the 
Government declaring Guelph a Town, with four wards, the election had 
been held in accordance, and that the first duty which devolved upon 
them was the election of a Mayor, whereupon, Mr. Day moved and Mr. 
Thompson seconded, that Mr. John Smith be Mayor for the current 
year, which was unanimously carried. The Council then adjourned 
for half an hour, to accompany the Mayor elect to the residence of Judge 
Macdonald, to be sworn into office. On resuming, the Mayor briefly 
returned thanks for the honor conferred upon him, stated his conviction 
that the duties and responsibilities accompanying the office were not 
light, and trusted that he should acquit himself to the satisfaction of the 
Council and the Town generally. He then reminded the Council that 
their next duty was, the election of a Reeve and Deputy Reeve, with the 
taking of such steps for the appointment of the Committees as might be 
deemed advisable. It was then moved by Mr. Thompson, seconded by- 
Mr. McDonald, and unanimously resolved, that George Sunley, Esq., be 
Reeve. Moved by Mr. Atkins, seconded by Mr. Presant, and unani 
mously resolved, that Peter Gow, Esq., be Deputy Reeve. 

The County Council met on Monday, January 28, the members 
present being: Amaranth, David Spence; Eramosa, L. Parkinson; Erin, 
Peter McGill, William Everdale; Guelph, William Whitelaw ; Guelph 
Town, George Sunley, P. Gow; Garafraxa, J. Donaldson, John Dobbin ; 
Maryborough, John McKieman ; Nichol, James Ross ; Peel, John Wil 
ton, William Stutridge; Pilkington, Charles Allan ; Puslinch, D. Stirton, 
John Black. 

The Council being organized, it was moved by Mr. McGill, and sec 
onded by Mr. Everdale, that Mr. Charles Allan be Warden for the pres 
ent year. It was moved by Mr. Donaldson, seconded by Mr. Parkinson, 
that Mr. D. Stirton be Warden for the present year. On a vote being 
taken it stood thus : For Mr. Allan Messrs. Everdale, McGill, McKie 
man, Ross, Stutridge, Whitelaw, Wilson, 7. For Mr. Stirton Messrs. 
Black, Dobbin, Donaldson, Gow, Parkinson, Spence, Sunley, 7. The 
numbers being equal, and there being no evidence to guide the Council 
as to which Township had the largest number of names on the assess 
ment roll, considerable discussion ensued, and strong opinions were 
expressed as to the course to be pursued. The representatives of Arthur 
were not present, and Mr. Allan s friends were desirous of postponement 
until their arrival, whilst the supporters of Mr. Stirton insisted upon the 
question being disposed of by those present, and that parties could not 
vote when they were not present on the motion being put. Eventually, 
an adjournment was carried, to enable the representatives of Puslinch 
and Erin to procure the collectors rolls of their respective townships, and 
thereby decide who had the casting vote, it being well understood that 
the question lay between them. On Tuesday morning the representa 
tives of Arthur Messrs. R. Morrison and P. Kelly took their seats, and 
after some delay the roll for Erin was produced, but as there were five 
collectors in Puslinch it was found impossible to obtain the whole c,f 
them within a reasonable time. In organizing, therefore, Mr. Stirton 
rose, and proposed, seconded by Mr. McGill, that Mr. Allan be Warden ; 



86 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

and Mr. Donaldson withdrawing his motion of the previous day, the 
same was carried unanimously. 

On Wednesday, 3oth January, the first train which ever passed over 
the railroad between Toronto and Guelph made its appearance at the 
York Road bridge about half-past two p.m. and great enthusiasm was 
manifested by the inhabitants generally. A large concourse of people 
assembled at the station, and on the train coming up, the event was sig 
nalized by loud cheering, the firing of cannon, and other demonstrations 
of joy. This was not an official opening of the line, but simply a trip of 
a private nature, for the inspection of the road and to give the visitors a 
view of the country and an opportunity to see the town of Guelph. The 
party consisted of twenty-three gentlemen, the most distinguished of 
whom were, His Excellency the Governor-General, the Attorney-General, 
the Postmaster-General, Chief Justice Robinson, Justice Richards, Justice 
Burns, Chancellor Blake, the members of Parliament for Toronto, the 
Mayor of Toronto, the ex-Mayor of Toronto and the President of the 
Northern Railway, &c. The party were met at the station by Mr. 
Sheriff Grange, Mr. Jas. Webster, Mr. Kingsmill and others. His Ex 
cellency was escorted to the Court House, where addresses were presented 
by the Warden and County Council, the Mayor and Town Council, the 
President and Committee of the Mechanics Institute. The company 
then proceeded to the British Hotel when a splendid lunch was partaken 
of, and in a brief period the whole* party was again on its way to Toronto. 
The Methodist church having been now jiearly finished, it was form 
ally opened on Sunday, March 2nd, when se rmons were preached, in the 
morning by Rev. Enoch Wood, President of the Canada Conference, 
in the afternoon by Rev. Richard Jones, and in the evening by Rev. G. 
Gemley, nearly one thousand persons being present at each service. On 
the following evening a public meeting was held, when it was announced 
that the cost of the building would be ,2785, only ,475 of which had 
been paid. A loan of ^1880 had been obtained, leaving still a consider 
able sum to be raised. The collections amounted to ^114, and at the 
meeting on Monday ^112 more was promised. 

At about this time a movement was commenced to erect a monument 
in the town to Mr. John Gait, in announcing which the HERALD of 
March 5th, said : " We have much pleasure in annoncing that a move 
ment has been made to .procure the erection of a monument to the 
memory of the founder of our " good town," the celebrated John Gait, 
the author of Lawrie Tod, The Annals of the Parish, The Provost, The 
Steamboat, The Lairds of Grippy, Ringan Gilhaize, and half a dozen 
other piquant and racy Scotch novels, which have given to their author 
a world-wide and undying fame. Mr. Gait s discrimination in selecting 
the peninsula of the Speed as the most favorable site for the granary, 
the laboratory and commercial mart of the rich agricultural country 
which lies between Huron and Ontario, has of late years become suffi 
ciently conspicuous, and the hamlet to which its illustrious founder, in 
anticipation of it destiny, assigned the patronomic of the reigning family 
having risen, steadily, if slowly, to its present status and importance, 
appears likely to mark its onward course by accelerated rapidity, and 
increased stability. The opening of the Toronto and Guelph section of 
the Grand Trunk Railway, has been deemed a favorable opportunity for 
bringing the present movement before the public, on the supposition that 
it may probably be desirable to combine the monument to Mr. Gait with 
that proposed to be erected to commemorate that event. We learn that 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 87 

three of "the oldest inhabitants"- -Messrs. Baker, Corbet and Thorp- 
have agreed to act as a provisional committee in making the preliminary 
arrangements ; and we are persuaded that under such supervision the 
affair will soon be brought to a successful issue. We have seen a 
very excellent design for the proposed monument, others will, doubtless, 
be offered and the selection will of course be left to the subscribers." 
At first the proposition was very warmly received, and in the following 
week a largely attended public meeting was held, when a committee con 
sisting of the following gentlemen was appointed to collect subscriptions 
and obtain designs: Messrs. John Smith, Mayor of Guelph/A. J. Fergus- 
son, M.P.P.. Wm. Clarke, M.P.P., Chas. Allan, Warden of Wellington, 
John Scott, Warden of Waterloo, Col. Hewat, R. Corbet, John Thorp, A. 
A. A. Baker, D. Allan, Thos. Sandilands, John McLean, Geo. Sunley, 
Wm. Day, J. J. Kingsmill, Andrew Lemon. Geo. Pirie, Fred. George, 
Peter Gow, Robt. Thompson, John Harris, sr., Edward Carroll, Rev. R. 
Torrance, Wm. Whitlaw, Reeve cf Guelph Township, David Stirton, 
Reeve of Puslinch, John McCrea and Robt. Patterson, Guelph Township, 
Wm. Patterson, Puslinch, Geo. Armstrong and Rev. Wm. Barrie, Era- 
mosa, A. D. Ferrier and Samuel Broadfoot, Nichol, James Mathieson, 
Hamilton, John Quarry, Mayor of Dundas ; Dr. Hamilton, Flamboro , 
John McDonald, Goderich, and Dr. Daly, Stratford. At this meeting 
$400 was subscribed, and further promises were afterwards made, but for 
some unexplained reason the monument was never procured, and thus an 
opportunity passed, such as may, probably, never occur again, for publicly 
recognizing the benefits conferred on the Town by its noble founder. 

During the Spring of this year a large number of the political friends 
of Mr. William Lyon Mackenzie throughout the Province had been agi 
tating the question of raising a fund for the purpose of presenting to that 
gentleman a homestead, and in June a public meeting of those favorable 
to the project was held in Guelph, when the following resolutions, which 
will explain the sentiments of his admirers, were passed : Moved by Mr. 
C. Horning, seconded by Mr. R. Stewart, That one of the brightest jewels 
and rarest traits of man s character is, political consistency and unwaver 
ing attachment to the people s cause ; that no man has exhibited such 
a long and earnest devotion to the public service of the Province of Can 
ada as Mr. William Lyon Mackenzie ; and that some public testimonial 
is due for his long and faithful services. Moved by Mr. Gow, seconded 
by Mr. Melvin, That this meeting, fully approving of the scheme of the 
Central Committee in Toronto, of presenting Mr. Mackenzie with a suit 
able homestead by the freemen of the Province, feel called upon to use 
their best endeavors to promote the project. Moved by Mr. John Stew 
art, seconded by Mr. John Smith, That the following gentlemen do con 
stitute a committee for the purpose of collecting subscriptions for the 
Mackenzie Homestead : Messrs James Bates, Charles Horning*, Robert 
Stewart, Peter Gow, George Sunley, John Smith, Robert Sunley, James 
Armstrong, Alexander Henderson, John Bookless, James Howard and 
John Orme. Subscription lists were thereupon prepared, and several 
sums subscribed. 

On the 1 4th of this month, the formal opening of the Guelph divi 
sion of the Grand Trunk Railway took place. About two hundred 
gentlemen left Toronto in the morning, and after stopping at various 
places along the road, reached Guelph at about three o clock. The com 
pany of visitors comprised a large number of the members of the Legis 
lative Assembly, some members of the Legislative Council, and several 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



prominent citizens of Toronto. On their arrival they were conducted to 
Horwood s hotel, (now the Royal,) then nearly finished, and a most un 
seemly farce was there enacted. In that part of its report of the day s 
proceedings relating to Guelph, the Toronto Leader said: tf An invita 
tion having been given by the Directors of the Grand Trunk Railway 
Company to the members of the Legislature, the City Council, and the 
Board of Trade, to take a trip to Guelph on Saturday, along the Toronto 
and Guelph section of their line, which is to be opened this morning for 
passenger traffic, a large number of the members of Parliament, as well 
as of the Corporation and Board of Trade, took advantage of the invita 
tion. About ten minutes past one o clock, five cars pretty well rilled with 
ladies and gentlemen, started from the depot at the Queen s Wharf. On 
reaching the magnificent bridge which spans the Credit, the train stopped, 
and nearly the whole party walked down a very long flight of stairs to 
the bank of the river, to make a closer inspection of this piece of work 
manship, over 800 feet in length and 115 feet from the level of the river, 
supported on five massive stone piers with heavy abutments. We glided 
along to the centre of the bridge and stood between the centre piers to 
show that there was not the slightest visible deflection caused by its 
immense weight. We then passed along the bridge entirely to give the 
passengers below a better idea of its height. As there had been a heavy 
shower very shortly before, the ground was rather wet, and the company 
remained only a few minutes outside. During this little divertissement, 
the attendants for the occasion had been busy, lor on reaching the cars, 
there was a very expensive display of sandwiches and champagne made 
which, it is unnecessary to say very speedily disappeared. Some 12 
dozen or so were thus quickly disposed of. There was also an abundant 
supply of very excellent water for those who don*t drink champagne till 
after dinner. The train halted a few minutes at the Georgetown Bridge, 
and a number of persons went out to take a peep at it. It is of a difter- 
ent construction, but equally substantial looking with the Credit one. 
Matters went all well until we reached Guelph, when a scene occurred, 
which we must say was grossly indecent. Some of the worthy M.P.P. s 
it is said, concocted a scheme to introduce Mr. Shaw, the M.P.P. tor 
Lanark, to the inhabitants of Guelph as the Governor-General. Accor 
dingly when the hon. gentleman stepped out of the cars, they took oft" 
their hats and gave him a hearty cheer as the Governor-General. Mr. 
Rankin, the hon. member for Essex, then took Mr. Shaw s arm and they 
walked along to the new hotel, followed by nearly all the excursionists, 
with a large turn out of townspeople. Upstairs the gentlemen marched 
and made their appearance on the balcony in front of the hotel, 
which was speedily surrounded by a large crowd of persons eager 
to get a glimpse of His Excellency. The hon. member for Essex, 
without pausing for a moment to define his new position, introduced 
Mr. Shaw to the audience as Sir Edmund Head, the Governor- 
General of Canada. His Excellency then came forward, and stated 
that he had come up to Guelph along with a number of their repre 
sentatives, both from Upper Canada and Lower Canada, and he was 
happy to say that upon a closer acquaintance the Lower Canadians 
did not appear to be that inferior race which he at first believed them to 
be. He was happy to see so large and thriving a town as Guelph, and 
he was sure that the representatives of the people now that they had 
witnessed the beautiful country through which they had just passed and 
the magnificent road over which they had travelled, would go back to 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 89 



their places in the legislature, determined to meet in a more liberal spirit 
the demands which the Grand Trunk Company had made upon them. 

" Mr. Turcotte then came forward and stated that he was a represen 
tative of that inferior race which had been alluded to. The hon. gentle 
man spoke at some length, referring to the necessity of maintaining the 
Union intact, and the fact that if they did so, the two provinces, each 
representing the most civilized nations on the earth, would, by the com 
bination of French vivacity with English reserve, make the most noble 
people in the world. 

" Mr. Foley, the hon. member for Waterloo, came forward seemingly 
in a state of great excitement. He said that a fraud had been practised 
upon them, and that this was the very same kind of fraud which had 
been practised upon Upper Canada in Parliament. They had been 
grossly deceived by false representations (cheers and hisses and noise 
and turmoil). Several parties pulled Mr. Foley back, but he was deter 
mined to speak. He said, Gentlemen, that is French Canadian justice 
(hisses and cheers.) This is French Canadian justice (hisses and 
cheers.) That is the kind of justice which a portion of the Upper Can 
ada representatives, with their French majority, are giving to us (cheers 
and uproar.) Gentlemen, you have been imposed upon most foully im 
posed upon. You have been led to believe that the Governor-General is 
here to-day, while he is not here. (Here the hon. gentleman was forcibly 
dragged from the front of the balcony, perhaps in mercy to himself, for 
he was speaking above his strength.) 

" Mr. Powell came forward and briefly denied having had anything to 
do with the deception. Several gentlemen then attempted to speak, but 
the noise and confusion was too great. Mr. Alderman Duggan, finding 
that he could not get an audience from the balcony, came down and 
mounted a one-horse wagon, and commenced to address the people, tell 
ing them amongst other things that he had got up the first meeting which 
was held in Guelph in connection with this railway enterprise. During 
the time the worthy Alderman was speaking, there were several parties 
trying to get the horse to run off, but it was somewhat baulky and resist 
ed all their coaxing. While this was going on below, Mr. Mayor Smith, 
of Guelph, was attempting to get a hearing from the balcony ; but at this 
stage fortunately the steam whistle sounded and the crowd moved off 
towards the depot. Nothing particular occurred on the homeward trip. 
In some of the cars singing was kept up all the way. The cars arrived 
at the terminus at half-past six. The excursion was a very pleasant one, 
although the day was somewhat chilly and wet, and but for the unhappy 
incident at Guelph, it might have formed a pleasing retrospect. But 
whether it will be taken seriously or not, it was rather a serious jest, and 
one which had it been aimed at any one other than the representative of 
royalty might have passed off with a guffaw. But it will now be 
apparent to the meanest capacity that " when drink s in, wit s out." 

The press throughout the country was very severe in the denuncia 
tions published of this sorry jest, and when Mr. Shaw returned to his 
constituency he was met with universal condemnation. On his arrival at 
his home in Smith s Falls, some of the indignant electors of Lanark sent 
him the following address : 
To His Excellency James Shaw, Esquire, M.P.P., Governor-General, 



MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY : 

We, Her Majesty s dutiful and loyal subjects, the inhabitants of the 



90 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

village of Smith s Falls, beg leave most humbly and most respectfully to 
approach your Excellency, at this our earliest notice of your arrival 
amongst us, to bid you welcome to this our humble village, and to express 
our deep sense of the honor conferred on us by the visit of so august a 
personage as the representative (albeit self-constituted) of Her Most 
Gracious Majesty. It could not fail to afford us the most intense satis 
faction, when the news reached us from Guelph, of the elevation to so 
distinguished a position of one who sojourned so long amongst us, and 
whose social habits and familiar intercourse with all, and more particu 
larly of late years, have been the theme, and excited the admiration of all. 

There are those, we are well aware, who will not fail to grumble at 
your Excellency s assumption of the office of Governor-General ; but, if 
your Excellency will be advised by us, you will treat all such invidious 
remarks, as is your wonted custom in the House, with dignified silence f 

We would beg leave to refer to history for a precedent for an appoint 
ment similar to your own ; it is to be found in Don Quixote, where San- 
cho Panza was made " Governor of the Island of Barataria," and a model 
Governor he was ; and why not you ? 

Only a little longer bear with us, your Excellency, and we will have 
done. We are not altogether pleased with all of your Excellency s ad 
visers, and would recommend the dismissal of some of them, and the 
appointment in their stead (excuse us for troubling you so much) of Mr. 
Foley, M. P. P. for the North Riding of Waterloo; as the advice, which 
we hear, he tendered you, on the auspicious event of your elevation to the 
distinguished position you ?ww occupy, was such as to meet our entire 
approval; and which if followed out, would no doubt be attended with 
the most beneficial results to us all, and to your Excellency in particular. 
Your Excellency, we have done. 

(Signed.) ALL OF Us. 

Whether these very intelligent and dignified legislators looked upon 
this freak as a joke or not, the affair developed a laxity of political moral 
ity and a disrespect to the Queen, through her representative, unjustifi 
able in any subjects of Great Britain, but peculiarly reprehensible when 
found among the Legislature. At best it was a miserably foolish diver 
sion to play on ignorance, and a poor, selfish mode of creating amuse 
ment, and as such should never have been perpetrated by men with any 
claim to education or gentlemanly consideration ; but when it is borne in 
mind that the insult was not really to the people of Guelph, but to Her 
Majesty the Queen, the conduct of these legislative clowns cannot be too 
strongly condemned. The probability is that the transaction was con 
cocted and carried out under the influence of champagne, which flowed 
abundantly that day, but that was no excuse. In the position in which 
they were, as members of the Legislature, come to inaugurate a great 
public work, they should have remembered what is due to Her Majesty, 
as the representative of our glorious Constitution, and that no frivolous 
freedom can be permitted with her deputy in Canada. The Legislative 
excursionists might, as some of them did, and some do even now, on such 
occasions, allow their excitement to find vent in frothy speeches, but 
nothing could palliate the gross conduct of Mr. Shaw and his associates, 
and it certainly was in miserable taste that the men who had been .select 
ed to represent the people in the Legislature should be so politically im 
moral as to impose a broad lie on the people, or a portion of the people, 
and laugh at the vulgar and criminal deception played on the credulity of 
an audience which had no means of detecting the imposture. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. Ql 

On the Monday following the opening, the trains commenced to run 
regularly between Toronto and Guelph, and on the first train upwards of 
150 passengers left Guelph. The Oddfellows also celebrated their anni 
versary by a trip to Toronto, between four and five hundred persons 
joining the excursion, Mr. Hutchinson, the station-master here, making 
every arrangement for their comfort. The first train to Berlin was run 
July ist, and during the month of November the Grand Trunk was 
opened to Montreal, thus affording a direct railway communication 
between Guelph and the Atlantic, an advantage which soon made itself 
felt in the prosperity of the town and neighborhood, by ensuring for the 
farmers a larger return for their products. The celebration at Montreal 
was extremely grand, consisting of monster processions during the day, 
and torchlight processions and illuminations at night. There was also a 
public dinner, at which gentlemen from all parts of the country were 
present. Among the residents of Guelph who received invitations to be 
present were, Messrs. D. Allan, W. Allan. W. J. Brown, E. Brown, 
Dr. Clarke, Chas. Davidson, John Smith, A. J. Fergusson, W. Hewat, N. 
Higinbotham, G. S. Herod, A. Macdonald, J. Peters, H. W. Peterson, 
W. K. Smith, J. Webster and Capt. Vale. 

Guelph had long suffered from the want of additional hotel accom 
modation, and this fact, together with the opening of the Grand Trunk 
Railway, had induced Mr. Harwood to give up an hotel in Toronto and 
open the hotel in Guelph, which for some years bore his name. To 
celebrate the opening a number of prominent gentlemen in the town 
formed themselves into a committee, and a grand dinner was provided. 
The committee consisted of Mr. C. Allan, Warden of the County; Col. 
Hewat, County Treasurer ; Mr. T. Saunders, Clerk of the Peace ; Mr. 
John Smith, Mayor ; Messrs. Jas. Webster, John Harland, A. A. Baker, 
W. D. P. Jarvis, D. Allan, G. A. Drew, G. Elliott, W. Day, G. Sunley, J. 
Harris and P. Gow. Mr. A. J. Fergusson, M. P. P., took the chair, and 
Dr. Clark, M. P. P., the vice chair. 

The 1 2th of July, kept with much parade in many parts of the Prov 
ince, had always passed off very quietly in Guelph, sometimes no notice 
whatever being taken of it. This year, however, formed an exception to 
the rule, for a party of about two dozen Orangemen having been to a pic 
nic at Rockwood, were, on their return by the train, attacked with stones 
and clubs, and a serious disturbance was the result. The Orangemen 
took refuge in a saloon and defended themseles as best they could by 
blocking up the doors and firing occasional shots from pistols. The 
Mayor and other magistrates were quickly on the spot, and succeeded 
for the time in quelling the disturbance, but it being feared that the fight 
would be renewed, and with more vigor, after dark, the Mayor and 
Reeve swore in a number of special constables and read the Riot Act in 
various places. It was well they did, for in a short time the battle was 
renewed. A man named Kelly raised a loud shout and in other ways in 
cited the mob to disturbance, when he was ordered to be arrested, which 
was at once accomplished. A dozen constables soon overpowered him, 
and succeeded in conveying him to the gateway leading to the gaol, when 
they were assailed with stones and sticks, and the crowd numbering 
many times their own number, they were soon overpowered, and the 
prisoner was rescued, but not before the Mayor and several constables 
had been struck with stones. The Mayor forthwith sent for Capt. Kings- 
mill of the Rifle corps and presented him with, a requisition for his 
services, and in half an hour a body of from forty to fifty armed men took 



92 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

up a position on the ground previously occupied by the mob, which had, 
in the interval, perceptibly diminished. Sufficient time having elapsed, 
the streets were cleared as far as possible, and a keen look out kept for 
the rioters. At ten o clock the Reeve and Deputy-Reeve, accompanied 
by a section of the Rifles, visited the various taverns, clearing them of 
all strangers, and ordering that no more drink should be served that 
night. About midnight a disturbance took place in the rear of Moran s 
saloon, and some half dozen constables proceeding thither, found Kelly, 
the rescued man, with others, and again effected his arrest. Again he 
was rescued, and but for the timely arrival of a portion of the Rifles he 
would probably have escaped. He and four others, who had assisted in 
the rescue, were taken to the gaol. The next night (Sunday), a keen look 
out was kept, and also on Monday night when a large number of men 
were collected on the Catholic Church premises, and about forty Orange 
men from Rockwood were lying in readiness in various parts of the town, 
but in consequence of the vigilance and energy of the constables and the 
military, no further disturbance took place. The rioters were brought 
before the magistrates, and most of them fined, but Kelly was sent for 
trial at the Assizes. 

After the election of the Council under the new organization, one of 
the first questions claiming attention was the erection of a suitable mar 
ket house, and after considerable discussion, and correspondence with 
the trustees of the Scotch Kirk, the site of that building was purchased 
for ,1750. Then a long delay occurred in deciding upon plans, and in 
letting tenders, but all these preliminaries were at last arranged, and on 
Thursday, September iSth the ceremony of laying the corner stone was 
performed. The Town Council, contractors, &c., assembled at the Court 
House., and preceded by the band of the Rifle Corps, marched to the 
site of the new building, where a large number of the inhabitants had 
assembled. A platform had been erected, and from this the Mayor 
addressed the people, explaining the object for which the meeting had 
been called. The Town Clerk then read the following list of manuscripts, 
&c., deposited in the cavity under the stone : 

County of Wellington, Town of Guelph, History and Statistics. 

The first tree of the forest cut down within the limits of our present 
Town, of which we have any record, was felled on the 23rd day of April, 
in the year 1827. 

The Population of the Town of Guelph. 

In the Year 1843 was 700 

In the Year 1846 1357 

In the Year 1847 1480 

The Town of Guelph was incorporated with the Township under the 
Municipal Act in the year 1850. In the year 1851 it was set apart with 
the powers common to incorporated villages. At the commencement of 
the present year it was constituted a Town proper. 

The Annual Assessment of real and personal property for this year 
is ,33,372 75 od., and the population about 5000. 

There are also deposited a Lithographed Map of the Town, published 
in the year 1855 ; a copy of each of the Town Newspapers ; one Victoria 
Sovereign ; one Victoria Florin ; one Victoria Shilling ; one Victoria 
Sixpence ; one Canada Penny. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 93 

Memoranda. 

Governor-General of this Province : His Excellency Sir Edmund 
Walker Head, Bart. 

Members of the Legislative Assembly : North Riding Dr. Wm. 
Clarke. South Riding Adam Johnston Fergusson, Esquire, formerly 
Judge of the County Court. 

Town Corporation. 
John Smith, Esquire, Mayor. 

Councillors Messrs. Frederick George, John Thorp, Adam Robert 
son, James Presant, Robert Thompson, Evan McDonald, William Atkins 
Peter Gow, George Elliott, George Sunley, and William Day. 

Treasurer James Hough. 
Building Committee. 

Messrs. Day, Robertson, Thompson, and G. Elliot, Chairman. 

Architect William Thomas, Esq., Toronto. 

Inspector Mr. John Wright. 

Contractors, 

Masons Messrs. Morrison & Emslie, Guelph. 
Carpenter Mr. George Netting, Toronto. 
Plasterers Messrs. Stephen & Pringle, Guelph. 
Slaters Messrs. Mitchell, Rannie, and Duther, Toronto. 
Painter and Glazier Mr. Chas. Marsh, Toronto. 

Cost of Building. 

About ,6,500, and ,1,750 for the ground, formerly the site of St. 
Andrew s Church. 

This bottle and its contents were deposited by the Chairman of the 
Building Committee, and this corner stone laid by John Smith, Esq., 
first Mayor of Guelph, on the i8th day of September, in the year of our 
Lord 1856, and in the Twentieth year of the reign of our most gracious 
and beloved Sovereign Queen Victoria. 

All of which is duly authenticated by the seal of the Corporation, 
and signed, 

JOHN SMITH, Mayor. 
JAMES HOUGH, Town Clerk. 

The stone being suspended by a windlass, Mr. Elliott proceeded to 
deposit the bottle in the cavity prepared, and the Mayor performed the 
usual ceremony of laying the corner stone, the Rifles firing a feu de joie, 
and the band playing appropriate music. The Mayor then addressed 
the audience from the stand, in doing which he briefly referred to the 
history of the town from the cutting of the first tree in 1827, spoke of the 
struggles in the past for the erection of a Market House, and regretted 
that one of its most zealous advocates, Mr. Thorp was too ill to be pre 
sent on that occasion, concluding by expressing the hope that the steady 
progress the town had hitherto made would be continued, and 
that the building then erected would tend much to develop the business 
of the place, and prove a source of profit both to those who brought pro 
duce to it for sale and those who bought there. Mr. Fergusson then 
delivered a brief address, and in pointing to the past looked upon it as 
an index of the future, and fully anticipated that in a few years the popu 
lation of the town would be tenfold what it was then. The band then 
played " God Save the Queen," and the company dispersed. 



94 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

In the evening a dinner was given at Horvvood s hotel, about sixty 
gentlemen being present. The Mayor occupied the chair, having on his 
right Mr. Fergusson, M. P.P., and Mr. D. Stirton, Reeve of Puslinch ; 
and on his left, Mr. Wm. Thomas and Mr. W. Whitelaw, Reeve of 
Guelph Township. Mr. Elliott, chairman of the Market House Com 
mittee, occupied the vice chair. A number of toasts were drunk and 
responded to, among the speakers being Mr. Stirton, Mr. Elliott, Mr. 
Fergusson, Mr. Whitelaw, Mr. Pirie and others. 

The building of the railway had by this time begun to have a very 
sensible effect on the value of property in the town, and on the progress 
of business generally. As a proof of this it may be mentioned that a park 
lot which four years previously had been bought for $300, was this year 
sold for $1800; and in another case, six acres of land, which five years 
before had been sold for ^300, was now sold for ,2,700. A lot on the 
Market Place was bought in 1854 for ^625, and this year fetched ,2,500. 
Building operations were being pushed with great vigor, and the improve 
ments all through the town were very marked, more especially in the 
business portions, Wyndham street particularly presenting a very busy 
aspect, among the other fine stores erected during this year being those 
built by Mr. R. Corbet. The Toronto Colonist, referring to Guelph at 
this time, says : " Guelph is particularly fortunate in possessing a build 
ing stone easily worked, and very pleasing in appearance, closely resem 
bling in color the white brick so much used in Toronto. This is well 
displayed in a street newly built, called Wyndham street, leading north 
from the Market Square, and branching off to, the right and left on either 
side of the Wellington Hotel. This is now the chief business street, 
many shopkeepers and others recently moved into it from the Market 
Square. St. George s Church, which, when finished, will be a handsome 
building, is in this street. The new market, the walls of which are just 
finished, is a fine substantial edifice. It is built of Guelph stone, from a 
design by Mr. Thomas. The trade and manufactures of Guelph are 
rapidly increasing. Ten years ago the quantity of flour sent to market 
by the principal miller was considered to be too highly estimated at eight 
hundred barrels. This season the exports of wheat and flour are set 
down at fifty thousand bushels of the former, and fifty thousand barrels 
of flour. One mill alone is said to manufacture twenty-five thousand 
barrels. The manufacture of whiskey is also large, the quantity sold 
amounting this year to about twelve thousand five hundred barrels. The 
opening of the Grand Trunk has given the means of turning the stone 
quarries of Guelph to valuable account. There are now four in full 
operation, and arrangements are being made for the delivery and sale of 
the stone all along the railway. There are also several foundries and 
breweries, some of them doing a large business. The water power 
afforded by the River Speed is quite sufficient to supply much more than 
what is required by the factories now on its banks ; but now one mill 
owner has let power for ten additional factories to be erected next year. 
The local trade of Guelph is very considerable, the country about it in 
all directions being ol the most fertile description and well settled. The 
Guelph storekeepers have hitherto done a large business with Hamilton, 
but the completion of the Grand Trunk renders their communication 
with Toronto and Montreal so much more direct, that their trade will be 
chiefly with those places, especially with Toronto." 

And again in reference to Guelph as a stock depot, it says: "No 
one interested in stock-breeding, or in agricultural pursuits generally, 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 95 



who has occasion to visit this place, should lose the opportunity of seeing 
Mr. Stone s herd of short-horn cattle, probably the finest and most valu 
able in the Province. Mr. Stone, who is one of the leading merchants, 
has gone to an expense in importing cattle from England, which would 
hardly be credited by any one not aware of the immense capital which is 
requisite at the present time to enable a breeder to lay the foundation of 
a first-rate stock of short-horn cattle, or the more expensive kinds of 
sheep. Year after year Mr. Stone and many other entrprising agricultu 
rists have gone to the most eminent English breeders to enter into com 
petition for the purchase of stock with men who, as regards genuine 
mercantile enterprise, extensive means and social position, comprising as 
they do many noble Lords and royal Dukes, may fairly rank with the 
princes and cotton lords of England. With a noble spirit of enterprise, 
these men have invested in this way the accumulated savings of a life of 
toil, and at great risk to themselves, and endless care and, in spite of 
great discouragement and even opposition, have doubled the agricultural 
wealth and resources of the country. Mr. Stone has now fifty-four head 
of thoro -bred Durham cattle, chiefly direct importations, and from the 
choicest strains and best blood the very aristocracy of the breed. The 
prices of some of these cattle w r ould astonish many an unsophisticated 
backwoodsman, who would stare at being asked ^150 for a calf 6 months 
old, or the price of a small farm for a two year old heifer. Mr. Stone 
has also some very fine Cotswold sheep and a lot of nice Southdown 
ewes just imported." 

There was very little excitement over the town elections in 1857, 
there being no question of very great importance likely to come up to ab 
sorb public interest. The nominations were held on Monday, January 
5th, the candidates being: West Ward Messrs. Sunley, Elliott, Samuel 
Smith, Brown, Ainlay and Wilson. Mr. John Smith was not a candidate on 
this occasion. In the South W 7 ard Messrs. Day, Gow, Clarke, Knowles, 
Condy and Carrol. East W r ard Messrs. Presant, Tatham, Thompson, 
Macclonald, O Reilly and Adsett. North Ward Messrs. George, Har 
vey, Robertson, Armstrong, Mackenzie and Anderson. The polling was 
not by any means as spirited as in previous years, the vote being com 
paratively small. The result was that Messrs. G. Sunley, G. Elliott, S. 
Smith, F. George, J. Harvey, J. Armstrong, E. Macdonald, R. Thomp 
son, G. P. Tatham, W. Day and W. S. G. Knowles were elected. 

On the Council being organised, Mr. George proposed the election 
of Mr. George Sunley as Mayor, on the ground of his long standing in 
the town, his property and business qualifications, and the position he 
had long occupied in the Council. He had been informed, and perhaps 
they might be told, that Mr. Sunley declined the nomination ; but he 
hardly thought that with the knowledge that the w r hole Council would 
support him, he would resist their wishes. Mr. Harvey seconded the 
nomination. Mr. Elliott said he should be happy to support Mr. Sunley 
if he thought he would accept the appointment. After some hesitation 
Mr. Sunley accepted the appointment and took the oath of office. The 
Mayor having taken the chair, Mr. Smith moved, and Mr. Day seconded, 
that Mr. P. Gow be Reeve. Mr. Tatham moved, and Mr. George second 
ed, that Mr. W. S. G. Knowles be Reeve. On a division Mr. Gow was 
declared elected. Mr. James Armstrong was unanimously elected 
Deputy Reeve. 

The official Gazette of December 21 st, 1856, contained the following 
announcement: " His Excellency the Governor General has been pleased 



96 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

to appoint Port Guelph, in the County of Wellington, to be a warehous 
ing port from and after January it." Under this order a regular staff of 
Government officers were appointed, and much greater facilities were 
afforded for the warehousing and entry of goods. Mr. John Harland 
was appointed Collector, and Mr. E. Carthew landing waiter at this port. 

Towards the close of the previous year a proposition was made to 
make a grant to Mr. John Smith, as compensation for loss of time and 
the work which had devolved upon him as mayor. This raised a storm 
of opposition in certain quarters, more especially among those who had 
contended against the incorporation of the town, and who had been so 
extravagant in their statements of the probable expense which would be 
entailed by the change, in the payment of the various municipal officers. 
It was urged that Mr. Smith had promised that, if elected, he would 
serve without demanding or expecting any remuneration, and those who 
had been disappointed in delaying the incorporation were very zealous in 
their efforts to defeat the proposed grant. His friends, however, claimed 
for him that, even if he had made such a promise, he had not contem 
plated that he would be expected to perform the duties of Police Magis 
trate, in addition to those of the Mayoralty, and as, if a Police Magis 
trate had been appointed, he would have received a salary of ,150 per 
annum, it was not unreasonable that Mr. Smith should receive a grant of 
^100. Finding that the opposition was likely to be much more bitter 
than they had at first anticipated some of the friends of Mr. Smith sug 
gested that a subscription should be taken up for the purpose of indem 
nifying him, but Mr. Smith and some of his supporters objected to this, 
and finally the grant was carried in the Council. 

In the Spring of this year considerable changes were made in the 
Militia Department throughout the Province, and a general re-organiza 
tion of the corps was a necessary consequence. Among the other 
changes was that the ist Waterloo Battalion became extinct, and the ist 
Wellington Battalion was created. In the Gazette of February 1 4th, the 
following appointments were announced: To be Majors: Captain G. 
Harvey, from late ist Waterloo ; Capt. John C. Wilson, do. To be Cap 
tains: Lieutenant Edward Thompson, from late ist Waterloo ; Lieut. 
William Henry Parker, do.; Lieut. Walter King, do.; Lieut. Robert 
Richardson, do.; Lieut. Alfred A. Baker, do.; Lieut. Richard Greet, do. 
Ensign James G. Husband, do.; Ensign Arthur Hogg, do.; Ensign John 
Thomas Tracy, do. To be Lieutenants: Ensign W. Porter, from late ist 
Waterloo ; Ensign and Adjutant James Cain, do. Charles Davidson, 
Henry Watson, Robert White, Thomas Watson, George Murton, Henry 
W. Peterson, John C. Allan, Nicol Kingsmill. To be Ensigns: George 
Tolton, Edmund Harland, James Webster, jr., Colin Blyth, John C. 
Chadwick, jr., Frederick J. Chadwick, Walter Murton, Thomas Heffer- 
nan, Leonard Harland. To be Adjutant: Lieutenant James Cain. To 
be Surgeon : Surgeon William Clarke, from late First Waterloo. To be 
Assistant Surgeon : William S. Hewat. The following Officers from the 
late First Battalion, Waterloo, are permitted to retire, viz. : Major Wm. 
Thompson, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Ensign James Davie, 
retaining rank. Ensign David Allan, do. 

In the Gaze.tte of May i6th, the following notice appeared: Volun 
teer Militia Rifle Company of Guelph -To be Acting Adjutant with the 
rank of Lieutenant: Ensign James Armstrong; to be Ensign: Sergeant 
George Bruce, jr., vice Armstrong, promoted; to be Surgeon: George 
S. Herod, Esquire. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 97 

In May, Mr. John Smith retired from the management of the Ad 
vertiser, his interest in that paper having been purchased by Mr. P. Cleri 
hew, late of the Berlin Telegraph. In addition to a long and somewhat 
windy article, in faint and ineffectual imitation of the style which marked 
the productions in Addison s Spectator an explanation of the principles, 
political, moral, religious, social, domestic, and, in fact, in relation to 
almost every other conceivable subject on which men s opinions could 
possibly differ, the new proprietor printed the entire platform of the Re 
form Alliance, as the summum bonum of human desires, and of all that 
related to the advancement of mankind, and as the infallible guide to 
universal prosperity, contentment and peace. Unfortunately for the 
stability of the Utopian vision which Mr. Clerihew s fertile imagination 
conjured up, the millenium which he apparently anticipated as the 
certain consequence of the enunciation of these principles, not 
only to the world at large, but to our good town in particular, faded like 
thousands of other visions have faded before and since, and in a short 
time the sanguine dreamer awoke to the stern reality of the fact, that the 
degeneracy of the people in this part of the world was such, that they 
could not appreciate either his dreams or his talents, and evinced their 
callousness to Ms frequent and impassioned appeals to come forward in 
support of his universal peace and prosperity theories, by the cold and 
unpatriotic command " stop my paper." 

At the Assizes in March a case of a most painful nature was tried. 
James McGarrie, a boy fourteen years of age, was placed in the dock 
charged with the murder of a boy named William Cull, eleven years of 
age, in Garafraxa, on the nth of October, 1856. It appeared that the 
two boys were in the woods together gathering berries, when a dispute 
arose between them, and finally McGarrie struck Cull on the head with 
a stick, knocking him senseless. He then took a piece of a glass bottle, 
which had been broken in the struggle, and deliberately cut the child s 
throat from ear to ear. The youthful murderer then ran away, and it 
was not for several days that the body was discovered. McGarrie was 
arrested near Goderich, and fully confessed the murder, giving the fullest 
account of all the revolting details. At the trial a defence was set up 
that he was of unsound mind, and that he must have committed the 
dreadful crime while ir, a fit of insanity, but this availed nothing, the jury 
finding him guilty of wilful murder. The Judge then sentenced him to be 
hanged on the nth of April, but before that time the sentence was com 
muted to imprisonment for life. 

At the close of this month the town was called upon to mourn the 
death of one of the most prominent and highly respected inhabitants, in 
the person of Mayor Sunley, which took place, somewhat suddenly, on 
the 3oth March. Mr. Sunley had been extremely unwilling to accept the 
position of Mayor, probably because he felt that his health would not 
permit of his discharging the duties of the position satisfactorily to him 
self, but it was little thought that his tenure of office would be so brief, 
and terminated by so sad an event. He presided at a meeting of the 
Council only a few days before, and within a day or two of his death no 
serious apprehensions were entertained that the result of his illness 
would be fatal. On the day of the funeral upwards of a thousand of his 
fellow townsmen assembled in front of his residence, to follow his 
remains to the grave, and thus testify to the love they bore him person 
ally, and the high estimation in which they had held him as a friend, a 
citizen, and as Mayor of the Town. The funeral procession was formed 



98 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

in the following order : Guelph Rifle Company, the Fire Company, the 
members of the Town Council in carriages, the ministers and physicians 
of the Town, the pall-bearers, the hearse, the executors and children of 
the deceased, Mr. Melvin and Mr. Mills, his partners in business, the 
band, playing the dead march, in " Saul," the Associated Mechanics of 
Guelph, and some hundreds of inhabitants, in carriages, on horseback 
and on foot. The stores throughout the town were closed during the 
afternoon, and for several days a deep gloom was cast over all. 

On the 1 3th of April the nomination of candidates for the seat in 
the Council rendered vacant by the death of Mr. Sunley took place, when 
Mr. John Kirkland and Mr. W. J. Brown were the candidates. Mr. 
Brown was elected by a very small majority. At the next meeting of 
Council Mr. Samuel Smith was elected mayor for the unexpired term. 
At this meeting the Market House Committee reported that they had 
expended ^64oo 173. 9|d. on the building, and that ^2743 35 ^d. more 
would be needed to complete the work, including the stone cornice which 
it had been decided should be put up, instead of the wooden one, as at 
first contemplated. 

At about this time a number of new stores were opened, including 
the hardware establishment of Horsman Bros., the business of which 
very speedily developed into large proportions, the enterprise and thor 
ough business knowledge of the proprietors soon placing them in the 
front rank in their trade, a position which they maintained with marked 
success for several years, and which the present proprietor, Mr. John 
Horsman, still continues to hold. 

On Sunday, May loth, a chapel, intended for the Evangelical Union 
congregation, was opened, sermons being preached by Rev. R. Peden of 
Hamilton, who was assisted in the devotional exercises by Rev. E. 
Barker of Eramosa, and Rev. John McDougall, pastor of the church. 
The chapel, capable of holding between two and three hundred persons, 
was well filled at all the services. On Monday evening a tea meeting 
was held, followed by a public meeting, Rev. J. McDougall in the chair. 
Addresses were delivered by Rev. R. Paul (Primitive Methodist), Rev. 
Dr. Cooney (VVesleyan), Rev. E. Barker (Congregationalist), Rev. J. 
Clarke (Baptist), and Rev. R. Peden (Evangelical Union). 

In the fall of this year a general election took place, and in the North 
Riding Mr. Charles Allan of Elora (Reformer) was elected over Dr. 
Clarke by a small majority, principally on account of some of the electors 
disapproving of the course taken by Dr. Clarke on the question of remov 
ing the capital to Quebec. 

In October, the new building on St. George s Square, for the Bank 
of Montreal, was finished, and a motion was passed in the Council for 
laying a sidewalk in front of it. In November a Gas Company was 
formed, and a petition was presented from Sheriff Grange and others, 
asking the Council to take such measures as might be deemed advisable 
for the encouragement of the enterprise, by adopting gas for the lighting 
of the streets and other purposes. 

The year 1858 did not present any circumstance of any great public 
interest. The election for Councillors resulted as follows: East Ward, 
Messrs. John Harris, Charles Davidson and James Murphy ; South 
Ward, Messrs. J. Kirkland, P. Gow and W. Day ; West Ward, Messrs. 
George Elliott, George Keeling and George Bruce ; North Ward, 
Messrs. J. Harvey, F. George and James Armstrong. At the first meet 
ing of the new Council on Jan. I3th, Mr. George Elliott was elected 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 99 

Mayor, Mr. James Armstrong, Reeve, and Mr. John Harvey Deputy- 
Reeve. At the next regular meeting of the Council, Mr. F. George 
resigned his seat, in consequence, partly of some disputes in the Council 
and probably because he was not elected Mayor, and partly on account 
of business engagements. On the I5th February Dr. Herod was elected 
to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. George. 

It having been represented to the Council that it would be a great 
convenience to farmers and others living to the East and North of the 
Town if a foot-bridge were placed on the Grand Trunk railway bridge, 
the contractors. Messrs. Gzowski & Co., were written to on the subject, 
requesting them to erect such bridge, according to their contract, and the 
required accommodation was shortly afterwards provided. In April a 
little tea-cup storm was raised in the Council over a somewhat small 
matter. The ladies of the town had subscribed to present a flag for the 
Town Hall, and instead of formally making the presentation through the 
Mayor, it was sent to the Council through one of the members. No doubt 
the ladies were guilty of a breach of etiquette, and their conduct in cast 
ing such an unwarrantable slight upon His Worship the Mayor was most 
reprehensible, and of course the Council protested against such an insult 
to his dignity, but it is not recorded that that they refused to accept the 
gift. In December the by-law for establishing a monthly cattle fair, 
instead of the quarterly fair, as heretofore held, was introduced., though 
the by-law was not carried until January loth, 1859. 

A vacancy having occurred at this time in the representation in Par 
liament for South Wellington, Mr. David Stirton was elected, but there 
was little excitement over the matter. 

In the fall of 1858 an act was passed in the Legislature for the elec 
tion of mayors of municipalities by direct vote of the people, instead of 
by the Councils as heretofore. The passing of this act was the cause of 
considerable excitement in this, as in other towns, many being anxious 
to be the first to receive the honor of election to that honorable position 
by the suffrages of the people. At the nomination in Guelph, in Decem 
ber, therefore, a larger number of electors were present than at at any 
previous nomination for many years. The candidates were Mr. James 
Webster and Mr. Peter Gow, and at the election, Mr. Webster was the 
choice of the people, defeating Mr. Gow by 226 to 203. The Coun 
cillors for 1859 were Messrs. J. Harris, C. Adsett and J. Murphy. 
South WardMessrs. J. Kirkland, J. Stevens and Robt. Thompson. 
West Ward Messrs. C. J. Buckland, R. Melvin and G. M. Keeling. 
North Ward Messrs. J. Harvey, Jas. Armstrong and F. George. After 
the declaration had been made, a large body of the electors proceeded to 
the residence of Mr. Webster and took possession of the house. The 
health of the newly- elected Mayor was drunk, and a number of very 
complimentary speeches were delivered, congratulating Mr. Webster on 
the honor which had been conferred upon him. After this the party drove 
to the residence of Sheriff Grange, where the jovial part of the programme 
was repeated. 

On the loth of this month a large fire occrrred at the granary recently 
erected by Mr. John McCrae at the junction of the Grand Trunk and 
Gait and Guelph Railways. The building was a large and substantial 
structure, and had only been in use a few months. At the time of the 
fire there were stored in it about 15,000 bush els of barley, peas, oats, &c., 
which, with the building, were to a large extent destroyed. The loss was 
about $4000, which was only partially covered by insurance. 



100 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GIlELPH. 

On January Hth, the County was called upon to mourn the loss of 
one of its oldest and most valued citizens Mr. Charles Allan, M.P.P.. 
who had been elected for the North Riding only about a year and a half 
previously. Mr. Allan had been in Guelph the day before and had 
reached Hamilton, from whence he intended going to Toronto. On his 
way to the railway station he was taken suddenly ill, and before he could 
be conveyed to the residence of his friend, Mr. J. Matheson, he expired, 
the cause of death being disease of the heart. At the funeral, which 
took place at Elora on the I7th, gentlemen from all parts of the County, 
as well as from the County of Waterloo, were present, the funeral being 
the largest ever seen in that part of the country. Mr. Allan had served 
in almost every capacity it was possible for a man to fill, from that of 
village Councillor to Warden of the County, and at last, as a member of 
the Legislature, and few men ever lived in the County who were more 
highly respected than he, for his business integrity, his devotion to the 
interests of his fellow citizens, and the general kindliness of his disposi 
tion. 

In the Council on the i/th, the election of Reeve and Deputy Reeve 
took place, the nominees being, for Reeve, Mr. John Harvey, proposed 
by Mr. Keeling, and seconded by Mr. Armstrong ; and Mr. John Harris, 
moved by Mr. Kirkland, and seconded by Mr. Murphy. On the ques 
tion being put the vote showed a tie, and the Mayor thereupon gave the 
casting vote in favor of Mr. Harvey, who was consequently declared 
elected. For Deputy Reeve, Mr. Murphy nominated Mr. John Kirkland 
who was seconded by Mr. Melvin. Mr. Robert Thompson was nominat 
ed by Mr. Keeling and seconded by Mr. Armstrong. On a vote being 
taken Mr. Kirkland was elected by a vote of seven to five. 

The Township Council for this year consisted of Messrs. Whitelaw, 
Laidlaw, Rannie, Shortreed and Sweetnam. Mr. Whitelaw was elected 
Reeve and Mr. Rannie, Deputy Reeve. The County Council was com 
posed of the following members :-~ Amaranth, C. Gillespie, Reeve ; Arthur 
and Luther, R. Morrison, Reeve, John Sinclair, Deputy ; Elora, Charles 
Clarke ; Eramosa, Donald Black, Laz. Parkinson : ErinJ Wm. Everdell, 
Wm. Cornock; Fergus, Alex. Wilkie ; Garafraxa, John Dobbin, Thomas 
Duffy ; Guelph, Wm. Whitelaw, John Rennie ; Guelph, John Harvey, 
John Kirkland ; Maryboro , Wm. Kambly ; Minto, J. Harrison ; Nichol 
James Ross; Peel, Thomas Gabutt, Wm. Sturtridge ; Pilkington, John 
Smith ; Puslinch, Wm. Leslie, Samuel Taylor. On motion of Mr. White- 
law, seconded by Mr. Dobbin, Mr. James Ross was unanimously elected 
Warden. 

On the 4th February, the nomination of candidates for the represen 
tation of the North Riding took place at Fergus. For about three weeks 
political excitement had run high all over the north part of the County, 
it being evident from the first that the contest would be very close. The 
candidates were Mr. James Webster, Conservative, and Mr. James Ross 
Reformer. At the nomination there was a very large attendance, and 
the show of hands was in favor of Mr. Ross by a smnll majority. A poll 
was, of course, demanded by Mr. Webster, and the election took place 
on the nth, resulting in the election of Mr. Ross by a narrow majority. 
This result was due to the fact of Mr. Ross, as Warden of the County, 
being intimately acquainted with most of the electors personally and also 
to the fact that many Conservatives, more especially those in the neigh 
borhood of Elora, at the last moment, were induced out of friendship 
for Mr. Ross, to succumb to the strong pressure brought to bear upon 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 101 

them by his friends. A few days afterwards a grand dinner was given to 
Mr. Webster at Fergus, the chair being taken by Lieut-Col. Valentine, of 
Nichol, and the vice chair by Mr. Thos. Whitley, Mr. Webster s mover 
and seconder at the nomination. The attendance was very large, and 
the enthusiasm exhibited was such as to render it certain that at a future 
election, should Mr. Webster run again, the result would be far different 
from what it was then. 

In April some consternation was caused in the Town by an assertion 
made in the Mercury, that the assessment this year, on account of the 
Gait and Guelph Railway debt, would be is. lid. in the . In order to 
grant the bonus to this railway, ,20,000 had been borrowed from the 
Municipal Loan Fund, and it was true that on January ist, the arrears 
due, in consequence of the inadequate assessment made under Mr. F. 
George s financial policy in the previous year, amounted to $12,678, but 
by the judicious management of the Council of 1859, that indebtedness 
had been reduced by the payment of $3,200, so that it was found necessary 
to levy a rate of only is. in the . 

In April a shocking murder was perpetrated a short distance from 
the Town on the Brock Road. John McGafmey was in the woods with 
his wife and son, aged about 12 years, when, after taking their dinner, 
McGaffney accused his wife of infidelity, and while the son was absent, 
struck his wife on the head with a large piece of wood and then battered 
the body almost out of recognition. The murderer did not attempt to 
escape, and when arrested fully admitted the crime. At his trial it was 
proved beyond a doubt that he was subject to fits of temporary insanity, 
he having for several months been an inmate of the Toronto Asylum. It 
was also proved that the suspicion of his wife s infidelity was a delusion. 
He was acquitted of the charge of murder, and ordered to be confined in 
a lunatic asylum during Her Majesty s pleasure. 

The new church of St. Andrew being now finished, the formal induc 
tion of Rev. John Hogg as pastor of the congregation was. held July ist, 
the service being conducted by Rev. Mr. Gibson of Gait and Rev. Mr. 
McDonnell of Fergus. 

The death of Mr. H. W. Peterson, for many years Registrar of the 
County, which occurred June I3th, having caused a vacancy in that 
office, Mr. James Webster was appointed to succeed him July i6th. It 
was at first thought that the appointment would necessitate Mr. Webster s 
resignation of the office ot Mayor, but the opinion of the Attorney-Gen 
eral having been obtained, to the effect that such resignation need not 
necessarily follow such appointment, Mr. Webster retained the position. 

In August another important enterprise connected with the trade of 
the town was commenced. Mr. C. E. Romaine, acting for Messrs. 
Gooderharn & Worts, distillers and grain dealers, of Toronto, purchased 
a quarter of an acre of land near the apex of the Market Square, and at 
once commenced building a large granary, capable of holding 50,000 
bushels. He immediately commenced buying large quantities of grain 
from farmers in all parts of the county, the consequence being that better 
prices were realized than had been the case for a considerable time. 

The Rev. J. G. Macgregor having retired from the pastorate ot 
Knox s Church, a unanimous call was extended to Rev. D. H. McVicar, 
which, having been accepted, the ordination service was held October 
nth, Rev. William Millican ofGarafraxa, Rev. George Smellie of Fer 
gus, Rev. James Middlemiss of Elora, Rev. Thomas Cuthbertson of 
Winterbourne, Rev. Alexander McLean of Aberfoyle, and Rev. Andrew 



102 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

McLean of Puslinch, officiating. The sermon on the occasion was 
preached by Rev. Mr. Millican, who chose as his text, Psalm Ixxxvii, 
3. On the following Sabbath Mr. McVicar preached his first sermon in 
the church, from 2 Corinthians, iv. 5. 

The month of October brought some severe losses to many of the 
merchants in the town, consequent on the stoppage of the International 
and Colonial banks. Although the notes of these institutions were not 
convertible at the local bank agencies, and were looked upon with suspi 
cion by most of the sagacious moneyed men, still a considerable amount 
of these promises to pay had got into circulation here; for in those hard 
times persons were apt to think a brown loaf better than no bread," 
and when a decent-looking ticket, unadorned with " wild cats," and claim 
ing no paternity from the land of bogus banks across the lines was offered 
in payment, they were not generally disposed to be very critical. And 
so, for a while, there was quite an interesting spice of excitement, desks 
and tills were examined, spleuchans were ransacked, and not a few good 
folks who had put off dunning creditors on the previous day, with the 
time-honored response of " no funds," found to their astonishment that 
they had nice little rolls of bank bills securely stowed away in snug 
receptacles, which, on examination, gave out a moderate percentage of 
the now proscribed commodity. But while nearly all the merchants lost 
more or less heavily, a few of the canny monied men were smitten much 
more heavily, by venturing to accumulate large stocks of the suspected 
scrip. In fact, there was a general loss on all the trading community. 
In the case of the International Bank, the affajr was undoubtedly got up 
with the intention of swindling the Canadians, who lost, in the aggregate, 
nearly $250,000 by the failure. 

In November a proposition was made to the Vestry of St. George s 
Church by Dr. Clarke and Mr. VV. J. Brown to purchase the site on St. 
George s Square, for the sum of .2150, the purchasers to hold the pro 
perty in trust for the Town for two years, at the expiration of that time, 
if the Town did not buy it, it was to be the sole property of Dr. Clarke 
and Mr. Brown, to be used as they thought fit. The matter was fully 
discussed in the Vestry, but the proposal was not accepted, Rev. Arthur 
Palmer agreeing, if the congregation would contribute ^1500, to provide 
the balance of what would be required to finish the church where it 
then stood, from other sources. 

The Rev. H. W. Stewart, B. A., assistant minister ot St. George s 
Church, being about to remove to another sphere of labor, a deputation, 
consisting of Messrs. Leslie, Battersby, Thos. W. Saunders, F. J. Chad- 
wick, H. W. Peterson and Capt. Vale, waited upon him and presented 
him with the following address: 

TO THE REV. HENRY WAI. STEWART, B. A. 

REVEREND AND DEAR SIR, We, the undersigned, members of the 
Church of England, and others, inhabitants of the Town of Guelph and 
vicinity, hearing of your proposed change to some other parish, cannot 
allow you to leave this sphere of your useful ministry without expressing 
our heartfelt regret at parting with you ; and renewing our assurance of 
every kind wish for your health and happiness. 

We would avail ourselves of this occasion to bear willing testimony 
to the constant faithfulness with which you, in co-operation with your 
esteemed father, have discharged the laborious duties devolving upon 
you, during the absence from the parish, for a period of nearly two years, 
of the Rector, the Rev. Arthur Palmer. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 103 

And we earnestly trust that the blessings of a kind Providence may 
attend you, wherever your lot may hereafter be cast, and that there your 
future ministry may be marked with the same measure of success which 
it has been here. 

This address, which was signed by about four hundred persons, 
members of St. George s and other churches, was replied to in suitable 
terms by Rev. Mr. Stewart, who expressed the hope that all those who 
had signed it might receive the same blessings they had wished should 
be given to him. 

At the nomination for Mayor, in December, there was very little 
excitement. It had been the very generally expressed wish that Mr. 
John Harvey should be the next Mayor, and steps had been taken to 
carry his election by acclamation, but a few persons, inimical to him, 
were determined that this should not be, if they could prevent it, and 
accordingly a requisition was prepared to Mr. James Webster, to allow 
himself to be nominated, which however, he refused. On the day of 
nomination, therefore, against his expressed wish, Dr. Parker was nominat 
ed, and he only escaped being obliged to go to the poll, by claiming his 
right to exemption from service, as a medical man, under the statute which 
makes special provision for such a purpose. Mr. Harvey was thereupon 
elected by acclamation. 

The close of the year was very near being marked by the destruc 
tion of the new market house, by fire. In order to prevent the meat 
from freezing, Mr. Wald, who occupied the first stall on the left, had fill 
ed a stove with firewood, and there being no guard plate beneath, the 
stove became hot enough to ignite the floor, which soon burned through, 
and the stove fell into the stall beneath, where there was a quantity of 
butter stored, which, of course, burned very fiercely, and had the fire not 
been discovered when it was, the probability is that the entire building 
wouli soon have become a heap of ruins. As it was, however, a liberal 
supply of water being procured, the flames were extinguished before very 
much damage was done. 

The members of the Town Council for 1860 were: East Ward 
Messrs. C. Davidson, D. Allan and N. Higinbotham. South Ward- 
Messrs. J. Kirkland, T. Holliday and Dr. Parker. West Ward -Messrs. 
George Elliott, C. J. Buckland and G. M. Keeling. North Ward- 
Messrs. James Armstrong, Fred. George and Dr. Herod. At the first 
meeting of the Council, Mr. George Elliott was chosen Reeve, and Mr. 
Chas. Davidson Deputy Reeve. 

The County Council for the year was composed as follows : Amar 
anth, Chas. Giliespie, Reeve ; Arthur, John Martin, Reeve, Robt. Mor 
rison, Deputy Reeve ; Elora, (village) Charles Clarke, Reeve ; Eramosa, 
D. Black, Reeve, L. Parkinson, Deputy Reeve ; Erin, P. McGill, Reeve, 
W. Cornock, Deputy reeve ; Fergus (village), James Grindley, Reeve ; 
Garafraxa, John Dobbin, Reeve, Thos. Duffy, Deputy reeve ; Guelph, 
Wm. Whitelaw, Reeve, John Rannie, Deputy reeve ; Guelph (town), G. 
Elliott, Reeve, Charles Davidson, Deputy reeve ; Luther, George Todd, 
Reeve ; Maryboro , W. S. Hambly, Reeve, Joseph Medill, Deputy reeve ; 
Minto, Joseph Harrison, Reeve, Noah Bullock, Deputy reeve; Nichol, 
John Beattie, Reeve ; Peel, Wm. Sturtridge, Reeve, John Gibson, Depu 
ty reeve ; Pilkington, John Smith, Reeve ; Puslinch, Wm. Leslie, Reeve, 
John Cockburn, Deputy reeve. On motion of Mr. Leslie, seconded by 
Mr. Beattie, Mr. Whitelaw was elected Warden. 

A fire of a serious nature occurred on the morning of January 3ist, 



104 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



on the Market Square, on the premises occupied by H. Jacobs Co., 
cigar manufacturers and the Castle Garden Saloon, on the site new occu 
pied by the HERALD Block. The buildings being principally of wood, 
were soon enveloped in flames, and though the fire engines were quickly 
on the ground, the hose was rendered useless by the severe frost, only 
one engine being able to be of any service whatever. Jacobs & Co. s 
loss was about $500, while Mr. Moran s on the saloon with the stock 
was about $4000. 

The period of service of the Governor General having expired, by 
official rule, during the past autumn, and he having been re-appointed by 
Her Majesty recently, Mr. Allen moved, in the meeting of Council of 
February 6th, the following address, to be presented on behalf of the 
Corporation : 

To His Excellency Sir Edmund Walker Head, K. C. B., Governor Gen 
eral of British North America &*<:., &^c. 

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY : 

The Municipal Council of the Town of Guelph having learned that 
Her Most Gracious Majesty has vouchsafed to testify her cordial approv 
al of the manner in which you have discharged the onerous duties of the 
high position you occupy as Her Majesty s representative in this Colony, 
by prolonging your term of office, respectfully beg leave to tender their 
sincere congratulations on so desirable and auspicious an event. 

Under the judicious, the firm and constitutional rule of your Excel 
lency, agriculture, commerce, manufactures, education all the staple 
interests of the country have been fostered and have flourished ; greatly- 
increased facilities have been given to internal traffic, the credit of the 
province has been maintained and improved, and the country has attained 
a position and enjoys a prosperity unsurpassed by any portion of Her 
Majesty s dominions. 

Should the expectation of Her Majesty s loyal subjects in this Pro 
vince be realised by a visit from the Prince of Wales or other member 
of the Royal Family in the ensuing summer, we en treat your Excellency s 
good offices to procure us the honor and the happiness of welcoming a 
scion of Her Majesty s illustrious house to her loyal town of Guelph. 

Guelpb, February 6th, 1860. 

Dr. Parker opposed the presentation of this address, on the ground 
that the Council should not interfere in any way in politics, while the 
majority of the members contended that there was nothing political in it. 
Dr. Parker, however, insisted that there was, and that by introducing such 
an address, some of the members had disregarded their oath of office, 
and threatened that if the address should pass he would resign his seat. 
Dr. Parker then moved for an adjournment, which was lost by a vote of 
7 to 4. Dr. Parker then moved, seconded by Mr. Kirkland, " That the 
address now proposed to the Administrator of the Government is an 
improper interference with public affairs, and calculated to disturb the 
efficient working of the Council." The amendment was then put and 
lost, after which the address was carried. At the next meeting of the 
Council, the Clerk read a communication from the Governor General s 
Secretary, acknowledging the receipt of the address and enclosing the 
following reply of His Excellency to the same : 

Mr. Mayor and Gentlemen of the Municipal Council of Guelph. 

Although I am not aware that my term of office has been specially 
prolonged, I thank your very sincerely for your congratulations on my 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 105 

having continued up to the present time to administer the government of 
this Province. 

I rejoice to think that the last harvest, with which Providence has 
blessed us, will have done much to restore Canada to its former prosper- 
ty; and if His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales visits the Province, 
I shall hope to see him welcomed by a thriving and a loyal people. 

I acknowledge the expression of your attachment to out most graci 
ous Sovereign. 

EDMUND HEAD. 

Government House, Quebec, February i3th, 1860. 

Dr. Parker then moved, seconded by Mr. Elliott, that the answer of 
His Excellency to the Address of the Council, be received and entered 
on the minutes of the Council. In moving this the Doctor said the Gov 
ernors reply was an admirable one, and had completely changed his 
opinion of His Excellency, who, he now believed, was not such a bad 
fellow after all, and he hoped the address would be entered on the min 
utes with the reply. 

In February the Town Clerk received a new Commission of the 
Peace for the Town, containing the following names : William Clarke, 
David Allan, George Elliott, Charles Davidson, John McCrea, W. S. G. 
Knowles, John Harris, John Horsman, C. P. P. Hutchinson and James 
Hough. At the same time the Clerk of the Peace received a new Com 
mission for the County, as follows: 

TOWNSHIP OF GUELPH. John C. Chadwick, George Elliott, Wil 
liam Whitelaw, James Laidlaw, George Pirie, William Day. 

TOWNSHIP OF ERIN. Henry Read, John McEwan, John Rott, 
Adam Conboy, James Kerr. 

TOWNSHIP OF ERAMOSA. John Blanchfteld. 

TOWNSHIP OF NICHOL. Charles Michie, George C. Hamilton, 
Brebner Cadenhead, James Ross, Nicholas Murphy, James Reynolds, 
William Tindal, George Wilson, Alexander Muir, Eugene Scanlan, James 
Wilson (Fergus), James Grindlay. 

TOWNSHIP OF GARAFRAXA. John Campbell Ross, Joseph W. 
Fernnan. 

TOWNSHIP OF LUTHER. George Todd, James Newson, Duncan 
Saunders, Hugh McDougall, James Isles. 

TOWNSHIP OF ARTHUR T. H. Philips, Richard Chalmer, John 
Morrison (the Elder, Lot 23, Con. loth.) 

TOWNSHIP OF PILKINGTON. Hugh Roberts, Arthur Ross, John 
Finlayson, David Henderson, James M. Frazer, John Potter, Walter P. 
Newman, William Gibbon, Charles Clarke. 

TOWNSHIP OF PEEL. Robert Nay, A. Bannerman, George Stewart, 
Thomas Holt, James Gibson, Thomas Heritage, William Blackwell, 
George Halley, Thomas Burns, Alexander Weir, John M alloy, Senior, 
Samuel Thompson, David Blair. 

TOWNSHIP OF MARYBOROUGH. Samuel Kilgour, John Watson, 
William Clarke, William Ayerst. John Robinson, William Robinson, 
John Walker, William Johnson, John Kilpatrick, Samuel Benson, Thomas 
Henderson, John Johnston, Henry Mauclsley. 

TOWNSHIP OF MINTO. Noah Bullock, Robert Caldwell, John 
Smithurst, Henry Stovel, Senior, Leonidas Chalmer, Archibald Harrison, 
Alexander Dow, William Webber, William Keith, Mathew G. Miller, 
Joseph Harrison. 



106 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

At the meeting of Council on May 7th Mr. F. George tendered his 
resignation, on account of pressing business engagements, and the resig 
nation was accepted. At the same meeting a committee, consisting of 
the Mayor, Messrs. Allan, Kirkland, Keeling, Dr. Parker and Dr. Herod, 
was appointed to make arrangements for the reception of His Royal 
Highness the Prince of Wales. On May 2ist Dr. Clarke was elected to 
till the vacancy in the representation of the North Ward caused by the 
resignation of Mr. George. 

In May an Act received the Royal sanction for the consolidation of 
the debt of the Town of Guelph, the provisions of which were as follows: 
The Town being indebted to the Municipal Loan Fund in the sum of 
$80,000, and on ordinary debentures $48,132, the arrears on which were 
$3,667 ; and on other accounts the Town being indebted $4,475, the same 
should be consolidated by the issue of debentures for such sums uncon 
nected with the. Municipal Loan Fund, to the amount of $28,000, for the 
purpose of redeeming or discharging certain debentures, due and in a 
short time to be due, provided that the by-law for issuing such debentures 
should receive the assent of a majority of the electors, and that the Town 
should not deviate from, change or repeal the terms of the issue of such 
debentures, except that the Town might abstain from issuing all the 
debentures. The whole to be redeemable not later than the year 1 880. 

In the Council on June 4th, the Mayor, Messrs. Allan, Buckland 
and Dr. Parker were appointed a committee to correspond with Rev. 
Arthur Palmer with reference to the purchase by the Town of the site of 
St. George s church, the result being that Rev. A. Palmer declined to 
name a sum, and for a time the matter dropped. 

In June of this year the HERALD commenced the publication of a 
semi- weekly edition, in reference to which some very flattering notices 
appeared in the newspapers in various parts of the country. Among 
others, the Colonist said: " Our contemporary the Guelph HERALD now 
publishes a semi-weekly edition, besides his usual weekly issue. We are 
glad thus to notice the enterprise and energy displayed, for the HERALD 
is one of the best Conservative papers we receive. It has long and man 
fully fought our battles, and stood true to the interests and fortunes of 
our party. We are glact to notice this sign of increased prosperity, and 
hope its spirited proprietor will meet with the success he deserves under 
this additional responsibility." The London Free Press said : " The 
Guelph papers have made a sudden start, and there are now two semi- 
weekly journals issued in that comfortable well-to-do place. The semi- 
weekly edition of the Guelph HERALD is now before us, presenting itself 
as a well-filled, attractive sheet, containing a capitally selected and well 
digested budget of the news of the day, such as may be taken up and 
read with pleasure and profit by any one, be his bias what it may. Mr. 
Pirie, its conductor and proprietor, is among the oldest members of the 
Provincial press, and that he knows well how to cater to his readers is 
fully shown in his new and creditable enterprise." The Canadian Free 
man said: " It is this week our pleasing duty to chronicle a change in 
the Guelph HERALD. Though differing essentially with our contem 
porary in general politics, we the more cheerfully accord him the credit 
of being among the fairest and most liberal of the Conservative journal 
ists in the Province. The columns of the HERALD have always been 
open to just remonstrance against grievance or wrong, to truthful refuta 
tion of misrepresentation or falsehood, and to temperate discussion. 
Further, we have never known the editor of the HERALD to descend to 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 10*7 

the mean and insulting slang with which some other journals befoul 
their columns. We wish our contemporary triumphant success." 

At the meeting of the Town Council in August 8th, Dr. Parker made 
a statement to the effect that the joint committees of the Town and 
County Councils had transmitted a memorial to the Governor-General, 
soliciting a visit from the Prince of Wales, to which no answer had been 
returned. The memorial read thus : 
To His Excellency Sir Edmund Walker Head, Governor General of 

British North America, etc., etc. 

The memorial of the Joint Committee of the Municipal Councils of 
the Town of Guelph and the County of Wellington, to solicit a passing 
visit from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to the Town of 
Guelph, during his tour through Western Canada, and to make such 
arrangements as will insure to His Royal Highness fit and proper recep 
tion within the reach of your memorialists, should the prayer of your 
petitioners be granted Humbly showeth: 

That your memorialists desire to approach your Excellency at this 
auspicious moment for Canada with renewed assurances of devoted 
attachment and loyalty to the person and government of our gracious, 
beneficent and beloved Queen, and, in common with the whole Province, 
hail with pride and gratification the approaching visit of His Royal 
Highness the Prince of Wales to this country. 

That the obvious and direct route for His Royal Highness from 
Toronto to Sarnia would appear to your memorialists to be by the Grand 
Trunk Railway, passing through the centre of the Western Peninsula, 
one of the finest and most populous agricultural districts in Canada, thus 
affording to a large portion of Her Majesty s Canadian subjects, other 
wise debarred by their remoteness from the frontier towns, an oppor 
tunity of exhibiting their devotion and loyalty to the Crown by welcoming 
the Heir apparent to the British Throne to this most important part of 
Her Majesty s Dominions. 

Therefore your memorialists, on behalf of the people of this town and 
county, pray your Excellency to use your kind offices to secure the Town 
of Guelph, a town which bears the illustrious family name of the House 
of Brunswick, and is situated on the route, a visit of an hour or two from 
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. 

And your memorialists as in duty bound will ever pray. 

Signed by the members of the Joint Committee of the County and 
Town Councils. 

No reply having been received to this memorial up to August i8th, 
the Mayor of Guelph and Warden of Wellington proceeded to Quebec to 
present another and similar memorial. They were introduced to the 
Governor General by Col. Irvine, and presented the memorial, and in 
reply his Excellency said the Prince would pass through Guelph and 
would probably be induced to stop long enough to receive an address. 
The deputation were directed to transmit a copy of the address proposed 
to be presented, to His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, who would inti 
mate to them when and where the Prince would receive it. At a meet 
ing of the Joint Committee, held a few days afterwards, it was decided 
to erect a covered stand in which to receive the Prince, each person oc 
cupying a seat therein to be charged a small sum for the privilege. An 
address was also drafted, and Mr. Hough was despatched to Montreal 
to submit it, through the Governor General, to the Duke of Newcastle. 



108 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



In a few days a telegram was received intimating that the Prince would 
leave the cars and remain in Guelph for a short time, and preparations 
were at once commenced for his reception. On September i2th the 
Prince paid his much wished for visit to Guelph, and a most loyal recep 
tion was accorded him. The following description, published in the 
HERALD, will give a better idea of the proceedings than anything 
written now could possibly do. 

Wednesday last will be written in large letters in the annals of 
Guelph, and will be remembered for many years to come, as the period 
of an event that must needs be of a rare occurrence in the interior of a 
Province so far removed from the central seat of Government of this 
mighty empire. How little could the founder of our good town have 
anticipated, how remote from even his fertile imagination, the idea, that 
in little more than thirty years after he felled the first tree in the un 
broken forest which then stood where Guelph now stands, ten thousand 
persons would be assembled within a few hundred yards of the site of 
that goodly maple, to welcome the heir of the British Crown, the eldest 
son of the reigning sovereign, after whose illustrious house he named the 
embryo town, for which he chose so fair a site. 

As only some ten days intervened between the period at which it 
was conceded that the Prince should make a short stop at Guelph on his 
way to Sarnia, and the date of his arrival, the preparations for the royal 
visit had to be made somewhat hastily, but despite such disadvantage 
the arrangements v. ere tastefully designed and well and elegantly com 
pleted. The amphitheatre connecting on the one side with the railway 
track, through a beautifully ornamented arch, surmounted with a crown 
of flowers, and having on the opposite side a dais surmounted with a 
gaily-colored cupola and a flag staff, from which floated the roval stand 
ard, was capable of accommodating some 6000 persons in the seats and 
on the floor. The entrance arch and dais were connected by an elevated 
gangway about 150 feet in length, which had a rope rail on either side, 
and surmounted by numbers of minature union jacks, was neatly carpet 
ed. This gangway led up to the platform forming the pedestal of the 
dais, which was elevated a few steps above it, was elegantly carpeted, 
and furnished with three handsome arm chairs. On the floor of the 
amphitheatre to the right of the dais, seats were prepared for the school 
children, and on the left some of the brass bands were subsequently 
placed. Lofty flagstaffs, bearing a variety of colors and flags, rose from 
different parts of the building, which did much credit to Messrs. Bruce 
and Armstrong the artificers. 

The sidewalks on Wyndham street and the Market Square were 
tastefully dressed with evergreens, and flags fluttered gaily from the house 
tops and from elevated flagstaffs. The Dunclas Artillery Company under 
Lieut. Smith, which had arrived on the previous evening, drove up and 
unlimbered their guns on the upper section of the Market Square early 
in the forenoon, Major Notman, who commands the Company, was pre 
vented from attending by sickness in his family. Lieut. McKenzie acted 
as signal man, to announce the arrival and departure of the Royal party, 
which regulated the firing. The Company wear a very handsome uniform 
and have quite a soldierly appearance, and their Brass Band, although 
numbering few instruments, were fully as efficient as any on the ground. 
The other brass bands present, were those of Fergus, Elora, Berlin and 
Guelph, who all merit much praise for their services on this occasion. 
Soon after noon, the school children, who had assembled in the Town 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 109 

Hall to the number of 500, were ushered into the amphitheatre by their 
teachers and took their seats, and soon after the gentlemen invited by the 
Mayor and Warden to take places on the platform with the members of 
the Town and County Councils arranged themselves around the dais. 
Colonel Webster; commanding the 6th Military District, Lieut.-Colonel 
Saunders, Lieut.-Colonel Fergusson, Lieut.-Colonel Drysdale, Lieut.-Col. 
Munro, Major Greet, A. O. M. G., Major Wilson, Captain Date, Captain 
Hamilton and other officers, the Rev. A. Palmer, Rural Dean, Rev. E. 
M Stewart, of St. George s church, and Rev. John Hogg, of St. Andrew s 
church, these gentlemen appeared in their clerical gowns the Rev. 
Messrs. McVicar and Torrance, of the Presbyterian church, the Rev. 
Messrs. Holzer and McOuag, Roman Catholic, Rev. Messrs. Douse and 
Adams, Methodist, Rev. Mr. Clarke, Baptist, Rev. Mr. Clarke, Congre- 
gationalist, all of Guelph, F. Kerr, Esq., County Surveyor. J. Hough, 
Esq., Deputy Clerk of the Crown and A. D. Ferrier, Esq., Clerk of the 
County Council, John Miller, Esq., R. F. Neilis, Esq., and Wm. Cooke, 
Esq., from Gait, and several other gentlemen were present. The stop 
page of the trains on the line prevented the appearance of several 
gentlemen from Toronto. 

About 12.30 the rifle company, led by Capt. Higinbotham and pre 
ceded by the Artillery Company s brass band, entered the enclosed space 
and took post in front of the arch. They were followed by a detachment 
of the Guelph Cavalry (dismounted) who were posted by Colonel Web 
ster in front and rear of the dais. 

The Royal party having left Toronto at n a.m., were announced in 
the instructions transmitted to the employees of the Grand Trunk along 
this section of the line, to arrive in Guelph at i" p.m. and that hour was 
now at hand. The school children, aided by Messrs. Sunley, Wheatley, 
&c., with instrumental music, and led by Mr. James Fergusson, sang 
some stanzas in very excellent style, but were not heard, we believe, by 
many present, so fully occupied were they in expectation of the arrival of 
the Prince. 

Precisely at 12.50 the pilot engine, announced to run -10 minutes 
ahead of the royal train, passed through the town, setting expectation on 
tip-toe. Ore o clock passed, however, and the minute hand of the town 
clock that looked down on the amphitheatre had passed a third of the 
points on its next hour s journey, but still there was no sign of the Prince s 
approach, and many grave conjectures were made as to the cause of de 
tention. T/e royal party had been detained a few minutes at different 
stations on the route, and more especially by descending to view the 
stupendous viaduct over the Credit, so that it was 1.22 ere the train ran 
up to the landing place. 

The Piince immediately left the royal car, and was received on the 
platform outside the arch by the Mayor and Warden, who, leading the 
way into the interior of the amphitheatre, were followed by the Prince s 
equerries ; the Prince, hat in hand, and gracefully bowing the Governor 
General, Duke of Newcastle, General Williams, the hero of Kars, Col. 
Bruce, and other members of the Royal suite. The artillery now com 
menced firing the salute, the rifle company presented arms, the school 
children ror>c and waved their handkerchiefs, and the assembled thou 
sands cheered with a vehemence that quite drowned the martial sound if 
trumpet and drum, which vainly endeavored to make audible the strains 
of the National Anthem. 

The Royal cortege passed along the platform a:nid this outburst of 



110 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

pleasurable excitement, the fluttering of flags and strange commingling 
of sounds, to the dais, in the centre of which the Prince turned and 
stood until his suite arranged themselves, and a half circle was formed 
by the gentleman occupying the platform. The rifle company marching 
along the gangway until the leading file reached the platform around the 
dais, opened and fell back on each side, forming a double line from the 
platform to the arch. The Mayor now advanced and read the following 
address : 
To His ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES: 

May it please your Royal Highness 

The Mayor and Council on behalf of themselves and the inhabitants 
of Guelph, proudly welcome your Royal Highness to this Town, which 
bears the family name of the illustrious House of Brunswick, a town 
which has risen in thirty years from an unbroken forest. 

We thank your Royal Highness for the honor of this visit, and the 
opportunity thus afforded of expressing our loyalty and devotion to the 
person of our Queen ; and attachment and fealty to the free institutions 
of the great Empire of which we are proud to form an integral part. 

We entertain a profound sense of Her Majesty s kind and gracious 
consideration for her Canadian subjects, in delegating your Royal High 
ness to visit Canada, and are deeply sensible of our obligations to your 
Royal Highness, in encountering the fatigues and perils of an Atlantic 
voyage, to come amongst us. 

Our warm affections will follow your Royal Highness, and our earnest 
prayers to Almighty God for your safe return to that empire whose future 
hopes and expectations, in common with out own, are bound up in your 
Royal Highness. JOHN HARYEY, MAYOR. 

The address, which was beautifully engrossed on parchment, was 
received by the Prince, who handed it to the Duke of Newcastle. The 
Warden then came forward and read the following address from the 
County Council : 

To His Royal Highness, Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Duke 
of Saxony, Prince of Cobourg and Gotha, Grand Steward of Scot 
land, Duke of Cornwall and RotJisay, Earl of Chester, Carrick and 
Dublin, Baron of Renfrew, and Lord of the Isles. 

MAY rr PLEASE YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS: 

We, the municipal representatives of the County of Wellington, in 
County Council assembled, gladly avail ourselves of the opportunity pre 
sented by this visit of your Royal Highness to our County Town, to tes 
tify in word as we are ever ready to do in our daily lives, our devotion to 
the crown and person of our illustrious and beloved sovereign, while with 
others we cannot avoid the expression of our regret that the duties 
appertaining to the high position held by her gracious Majesty have pre 
vented her acceptance of the invitation proftered by our Legislature, and 
from becoming personally acquainted with the present feeling of loyalty 
pervading this portion of her dominions. We gratefully acknowledge 
the readiness with which she has met the prayer of her Canadian subjects, 
by deputing, as her representative, one who at some distant day will 
wield the sceptre now held by her. In doing this, we beg to congratu 
late your Royal Highness upon the enthusiastic and hearty reception 
which has greeted you during your tour through the province, and can 
assure you that in the backwoods of this peninsula, thousands of miles 
from the parent state, where the hardy pioneer is busily engaged in 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



battling with the difficulties of a fresh settlement in a forest land, there 
burns as strong a feeling of attachment to the throne as in those "happy 
homes of England/ in the midst of which you dwell. 

And our pleasure in welcoming you to this section of Canada, is only 
marred by the reflection that the limited time at your disposal does not 
permit you to travel through the interior of the noble country spreading 
from this town northward to the shores of Lake Huron and to witm 
how the labors of less than a score of years have converted the wilder 
ness into a land ^teeming with plenty, and filled with a prosperous and 
contented people. 

In conclusion we pray your Royal Highness to convey to our belov 
ed Sovereign this expression of the feelings of devotion and esteem which 
animate the people of this country ; and an assurance, that should 
occasion ever call for more active proofs of loyalty, the men of Welling 
ton will be found worthy ot the illustrious name which they proudly bear. 

WILLIAM WHITELAW, WARDEN. 

The Prince having handed the County address which was equally 
handsomely got up as the other to the Duke of Newcastle, received 
from him and read, with a singularly distinct and musical intonation, the 
following- reply; delivering, at the conclusion, the document to the 
Mayor : 

GENTLEMEN, I thank you sincerely for the Address which you 
have presented to me. 

In the Queen s name I thank you sincerely for the expressions of 
your loyalty to her crown and person, and for myself I am grateful to you 
for this welcome to this the chief town of so fertile and beautiful a dis 
trict, bearing, as it does, the name of my own family. 

The Mayor was now directed to present the gentlemen of the Town 
Council, and then the members of the County Council were presented by 
the Warden. Colonel Webster and the Rev. A. Palmer, who had been 
presented at Toronto, again paid their respects to the Prince, and the 
school children sung the following stanzas in admirable style :- 

God save our gracious Queen, 
Lon^ may Victoria reign, 

God save the Queen ! 
Send her victorious, 
Happy and glorious, 
I .r.r.g to reign over us, 

God save the Queen ! 

< Yownecl with each kingly grace-, 
V, : sdoi:i and righteous 

Our youthful Prince ; 
Sin >]>,; i:i the nation s might, 
.May lie defend the right, 
Turn all his foes to flight, 

God save the Prince ! 

The Prince now descended from the dais, and preceded by his 
equerries and followed by the rest of his suite, passed slowly round the 
platform, giving to the multitude outside the enclosures a perfect view of 
his person and countenance. This condescension on the part of his 
Royal Highness was met with another hurricane of hurrahs. Lingering 
a minute in front of the dais, the procession then passed between the 
lines of the Rifles towards the railway, followed by the gentlemen on the 
platform. The artillery now began firing the parting salute, the bands 
commenced "God Save the Queen!" which soon passed into "Rule, 
Britannia !" and the crowd in the amphitheatre, from the basement away 



112 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

up to the highest range of seats in the lofty semi-circle, arose simulta 
neously and cheered loudly and long. And so, amid the clamor of voices 
and instruments, the steam whistle uttered its shrill scream, and the 
Royal party in a few seconds were out of sight ; the people came down 
from house tops and verandahs, and the amphitheatre was emptied of its 
occupants in a twinkling. The Prince s visit occupied scarcely twenty 
minutes. He was, indeed, only 14 minutes within the arch. 

In the afternoon the officers of the Dundas artillery company, the 
Guelph cavalry, including the gentlemen about to receive commissions 
in the corps Capt. Hutchinson, ist Lieut. Hemmings, and 2nd Lieut. 
Hood, with several officers of the sedentary militia, dined at Thorp s 
hotel. The cavalry paraded the streets mounted, in the evening, and the 
different bands discoursed music in all directions. 

In the evening nearly all the houses on Wyndham Street, were il 
luminated. Among the more conspicuous, were Higinbotham s block at 
one end, and the Alma block at the other, the Great Western hotel and 
Mr. Harte s store on the opposite side of the street, in front of which 
were suspended some pretty colored Chinese lanterns, were well lighted up. 

The store of Horsman Brothers, ironmongers, was very tastefully 
illuminated, showing four beautiful transparencies, in the top window, 
surround by " the mammoth horse shoe," was a large crown with the let 
ters V. R. Underneath this window were three other transparencies in a 
line, the one in the centre being the Prince of Wales feathers, with the 
motto " Ich Dien, the one on the left represented the arms of Canada, 
with the legend hon mutal genus solon" and on the right was the rose, 
thistle, shamrock and maple leaf entwined, surrounded by the inscription 
" we are all one." The tout ensembh:\i2(.& a very pleasing effect, and re 
flects great credit on our enterprising townsmen Horsman Brothers. 

The British hotel was also well lighted and had colored lights hanging 
from the evergreens in front, and the seminary of the Ladies of Loretto 
was a blaze of light, its spacious front and elevated position, giving it a 
singularly brilliant appearance. In the evening the Town Council gave 
a ball in the Town Hall which was attended by Col. and Mrs. Webster, 
the Mayor and the Misses Harvey, Major and Mrs. Wilson, the members 
of the Town Council, officers of the active and sedentary militia, and a 
host of civilians. Dancing was kept up with much spirit till midnight, 
and a day of much enjoyment was concluded without accident or disap 
pointment. 

One of the members of the Prince s suite, in an account of the 
tour, published in the St. James 1 Chronicle, one of the oldest and best 
papers then published in Great Britain, in referring to the visit to Guelph 
said : " But at the beautiful town of Guelph the first really fine and im 
posing spectacle was presented after leaving Tornto. The town is charm 
ingly situated in the hollow of a basin, the sides being gently swelling 
hills, all of them, or most of them, exceedingly well cultivated, and dotted 
with snug and handsome villa residences with gardens and orchards. 
The station is apparently in the middle of the town, and here, close to a 
splendid and highly ornamented stone structure (which I learned was 
the town hall) a tasteful pavilion was erected, facing the railway, and on 
one side was an amphitheatre, something like that at Toronto, only not 
on so large a scale. A throne was placed under the pavilion, and at the 
foot of the dais the Guelph corporation were waiting with their address. 
The amphitheatre was filled with well-dressed people some 4,000 or 
upwards wkile outside a large open space contained a crowd twice as 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 113 

large in number, and the houses abutting on the square had their windows 
filled with spectators. There was a fine triumphal arch, and of course the 
town was gaudily decorated. A number of children sang the National 
Anthem as the Prince walked to the pavilion, and the greatest enthuiasm 
as usual prevailed. The Prince was evidently much struck with the fer 
tility of the country about Guelph, and indeed said so in reply to the 
address which was presented to him. He also said that he was peculiar 
ly gratified at receiving an address from a town which bore his family 
name. The people of this beautiful and flourishing town, now containing 
about 5,000 inhabitants, will never forget the gracious condescension of 
his Royal Highness, and in this section of Upper Canada loyal sentiment 
is likely to burn brighter than ever. 

" There is an appearance of prosperity about Guelph which is most 
pleasing to behold. It is the most attractive-looking town and neighbor 
hood I have yet beheld in Upper Canada. There are several really 
splendid buildings, evincing good taste in their architecture, among which 
I must name the Town Hall, the English Church, the Court House, and 
more than one elegant row of houses and shops, which I was enabled to 
obtain a glimpse of during a hurried scamper through a portion of the 
town. There are several really imposing hotels, one of which I entered, 
and found the interior fitted up in quite a luxurious manner. The town 
is a stone one ; most of the public, and many of the private buildings are 
constructed of this material, which is peculiar, differing from any other 
stone which I have seen in Canada. It is a kind of limestone, but to my 
observation seemed to partake of the saponaceous. Viewing the sur 
rounding splendid agriculturing country, which extends to nearly fifty 
miles in length on the Grand Trunk Railway, I should say that Guelph is 
destined to become the centre of one of the finest and richest districts in 
Canada West, and certainly here no English capitalist can do wrong in 
investing his surplus funds. I shall not soon forget Guelph the fine 
aspect of the town, although the streets are by no means regular, and the 
English church occupying the centre of the principal thoroughfare the 
beautiful rolling country, admirably farmed all around, and the pretty 
little river speed." 

From Guelph the Prince proceeded to London, where a grand ovation 
was prepared for him, and in the evening a ball was given at the Tecumseh 
House. From London the royal party went to Sarnia, and from thence 
to Detroit, Chicago, &c. 

During the visit of the Prince to Kingston, some unfortunate mis 
understandings arose on account of the position which the Orange body 
felt it their duty to assume in reference to the reception of his Royal 
Highness, and some persons had charged the Orangemen with disloyalty, 
the charge being reiterated by the London Times. At a soiree given by 
the Orange Lodge in this town subsequently, Hon. John Hillyard Cam- 
ercn, Grand Master and Sovereign of the Loyal Orange Institution of 
British North America, in referring to the matter, said, " there had been 
an attempt to insult and coerce Orangemen, and in the irritation conse 
quent on such provocation, some of them may have been betrayed into 
proceedings that were to be regretted, but they were not the ruffians the 
London Times had termed them ; there were none more loyal to their 
Queen, nor more ready to shed their blood for the maintenance of British 
connection." The Orangemen in the town also, while they regretted the 
occurrences which took place at Kingston, took every means to disavow 
any disloyalty either in word or thought, and repelled the insinuations 



114 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



which had been made in various quarters, inimical to their avowed love 
for the Queen and British institutions. 

At the November Assizes the trial of George Harris,, for murder, took 
place. The evidence adduced showed the crime to have been one of the 
most atrocious and unprovoked ever perpetrated in this part of the 
country. Harris was a colored man, a laborer, living near the town, and 
for about eighteen months he had been living with a colored girl named 
Sophia Waldren, about sixteen years of age, but they were not married, 
though deceased went by the name of Rachel Harris. Harris had been 
in the habit of beating her, and on Sunday, August 26th, while under the 
influence of liquor, he had knocked her down and beaten her with a 
small rod to such an extent that the body presented one mass of inflam 
mation and wounds from head to foot, from the results of which cruelty 
she soon died, when Harris carried the body into the woods and went 
and told some neighbors that she had fallen from a tree into a pile of elm 
tops and been killed. The jury returned a verdict of guilty and the 
prisoner was sentenced to be hanged December 2ist. Shortly before his 
execution Harris dictated a statement in which he said he was 45 years 
of age, and that he had been married, his wife and one child having died 
under what were considered suspicious circumstances, some years pre 
viously. He denied that he had murdered the girl Waldren, asserting 
that she had bruised herself while wandering about in a drunken state, 
though, as the medical testimony had proved that blows had been inflict 
ed by some person, he must have done it. At the execution, which took 
place outside one of the windows in the Court House, there were present 
about 1600 persons, but all passed off quietly." 

For some time the Reform party had been giving dinners to their 
leaders in various parts of the country, at which statements had been 
made respecting the members of the government which it was found ad 
visable to contradict, and for this purpose the Conservatives of Guelph, 
with some other towns, invited Hon. John A. Macdonald to a dinner, to 
give him an opportunity of making a statement in reply. The dinner was 
given in the Town Hall, which was tapestried with flags and scrolls, 
suitable mottoes being placed o-ver the windows and doors. A table for 
the invited guests was set out on the platform, at the west end, and three 
long tables were run from the platform to the foot of the hall. Covers 
were laid for 250 guests, but these were occupied at the first rush, the 
steps and breast of the platform, the window seats and every avail 
able nook and corner of the hall were converted into dining tables 
for the nonce. The stewards and some thirty other gentlemen had to 
stand until others, having dined, relinquished to them their places at 
table, the number present being little short of four hundred. But besides 
those who obtained sitting or standing room not a few persons retired, on 
seeing the crowded state of the hall, without attempting to enter. The 
company having taken their seats, the invited guests, preceded by the 
Mayor, entered and passed up to the platform, while the " Hail to the 
Chief !" of the brass band was speedily drowned by the cheering of the 
crowd. 

Mr. John Harvey, Mayor of Guelph, occupied the chair, and the 
vice-chairs were filled by Dr. Finlayson, of Elora; Mr. John Watt, of 
Fergus, and Mr. J. Davis, of Erin. 

On the chairman s right were placed the Hon. John A. Macdonald, 
Hon. Solicitor-General Morrison, Rev. A. Palmer, Col. Kingsmill, Mr. J. 
Hespeler, Mr. Andrew Geddes, and Dr. Clarke. On the left of the chair 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 115 

were the Hon. John Ross, the Hon. S. Smith, Dr. Herrick, Mr. J. J. 
Kingsmill, Col. Rich, Captain Date and Mr. William Alexander. The 
press was represented by Mr. Greig, of the Toronto Leader, Mr. Harvey, 
of the Hamilton Spectator, Mr. Jaffray, of the Gait Reporter, Mr. Green- 
ham, of the Fergus Constitution, and the editors of the local journals. 

The following gentlemen acted as stewards: Dr. Herod, Dr. Harvey, 
Messrs. Charles Davidson, J. Horsman, W. S. G. Knowles, F. Kerr, 

F. J. Chadwick, Capt. Hutchinson, J. Davis, G. Murton, W. Allan, 
J. Webster, Jr., W. Wilson, J. Allan, J. Douglas, J. C. Wilson and J. 
Harrison. 

Among the guests around the long tables, were Mr. N. Kingsmill, 
Capt. Vale, Messrs. J. Davie, A. Hogge, H. W. Parker, R. Johnstone 
(Fergus), A. Quarry, Col. Saunders, Col. Hewat, R. Corbet, A. A. Baker, 
D.Allan, R. Brodie, J. Beattie (Reeve of Nichol), Col. Wilton (Peel), 
John lies, John Caulfield, James Webster, Ed. Carthew, W. P. Wilson, 
J. C. Chadwick, R. Shortreed, D. Murray, Col. Valentine, S. L. Shotter, 
(Erin), J. Thorp, J. L. Smith, M. Anderson and A. Cadenhead (Fergus,) 

G. McKenzie Stewart, T. W. Saunders, A. Lemon, S. Broadfoot and A. 
Sherratt (Nichol), J. Finlayson (St. Jacobs), James Reynolds, W. Rey 
nolds; J. Morrison, C. O Callaghan and M. Cox, Arthur; William Gib 
bon, Elora; H. Tolton, D. Day and J. McKerlie, Eramosa; Major Wil 
son, Dr. Munro and R. Brown, Fergus ; R. Thompson, J. Presant, James 
Thorp. William Lindsay, J. Coulson, G. Draper, C. McElderry, J. Kellar, 
A. B. Stewart, John Millar, B. J. Harte, J. Murphy, J. Hazelton, M. Ryan, 
T. K. Beatty, G. Fox, John Hogg, F. Fetherstonhaugh, E. Harland, J. 
Bain (Elora), E. V. Smith, A. W. Blyth, George Richardson, A. Blyth, 
Jr., T. Card, A. Kennedy, J. Mitchell, A. Allan, A. McKenzie, E. Hub- 
bard, J. Watson, D. Henderson, P. Moran, J. O Neill, G. Robins, J. 
McCrae, T. W. Cooper, J. M. Fraser (Elora), R. Lingwood (Nichol), J. 
Leslie, B. Ternant and J. A. Thompson, Arthur; J. McLaren, Ermotville; 
John Green, Elora, &c. 

Grace was said by Rev. Arthur Palmer, who, after dinner, also re 
turned thanks. The usual loyal toasts were then drunk, and Col. Kings- 
mill delivered a most patriotic address, which was greeted with loud 
cheers. 

The chairman then said, the gentleman who would next speak had 
had his share, at least, of abuse, while making efforts which he considered 
eminently successful in the interests of the country. He then gave "The 
Hon. Attorney- General Macdonald," which was received with the great 
est enthusiasm. 

Hon. J. A. Macdonald then rose and said : 

" Mr. Mayor, Vice-Chairmen, and Gentlemen: I should indeed be 
devoid of those sentiments which must actuate every man of proper feel 
ing, if I did not experience the greatest pleasure and thankfulness for this 
reception this kindly greeting from the people of Guelph and the County 
of Wellington. For it is a greeting like this a kindly welcome of this 
kind that compensates a public man for much of the trial and obloquy 
that he must go through during his career. (Applause.) As you have 
said, sir, a public man gets plenty of abuse, and I get more than my share 
of it ; but as I have acted according to the best of my ability aud judg 
ment although, of course, I have committed many errors as I feel my 
meaning to have been honest, and that I designed in my best way to do 
the best for my country, I have been able to bear up against all the 
attacks to which I have been subjected, and I have confided in the good 



116 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

hearts and the fair play of the people, of Upper Canada especially, feeling 
that they would not allow me to be condemned unheard. (Cheers.) And 
I find, from meetings like this, that although I have been traduced, I can 
yet face the people of Upper Canada at a public board, and that they are 
willing not only to allow me an opportunity of giving explanatory state 
ments, but are ready to ride many a mile to meet me, notwithstanding the 
inclemency of the weather and the breaking up of our summer roads. 
(Cheers.) Hereafter, then, though I may be subjected, as I certainly 
shall be, to many attacks, calumnies, and sinister representations, I will 
look back and remember with confidence which will cheer me, the greet 
ing which has been given me by the men of Wellington and Waterloo, 
who have come to bid me Godspeed. (Applause.) I must say that, even 
though I knew I had many personal and more political friends in this 
part of the country, I did not expect this magnificent demonstration in 
Guelph. Some Opposition papers have said that nobody would be here 
to meet John A. but a parcel of parasites and toadies- that a set of mere 
sycophants, officials, and seekers for office, would come (laughter), but I 
find that there is a fair representation of the whole bone and sinew of the 
country. I ascertain from those who know you, that here I can find the 
honest farmer who has driven thirty or forty miles to meet me ; while 
the merchant and the hard-working artizan are here, too, to meet their 
fellow-countrymen." He then at great length reviewed the action of the 
Government on all the questions of public interest at that time, contend 
ing that what had been done had *been for the immediate and ultimate 
good of the country, and would be looked upon in after years as the best 
policy which could have been adopted. Other toasts followed, and one 
of the most successful and best conducted political demonstrations ever 
held in Guelph was then brought to a close. 

On Saturday evening a fire occured in the Victoria Mill, owned by 
Mr. J. Presant, and it being a frame building, it became an easy prey to the 
flames. The wind at the time was blowing a hurricane, and several other 
buildings in the neighborhood were for a time in great danger of being 
sacrificed, but by the efforts of the firemen and the inhabitants, these 
were saved. The fire engines were early on the spot but the only result, 
so far as the mill was concerned, was the destruction of the hose carriage, 
which, having been run close to the mill, could not be withdrawn and was 
burned. It was soon evident that the mill could not be saved by human 
eflorts, and attention was directed to the getting out of flour and grain, 
and to the safety of a cottage a short distance off, occupied by Mr. Bradley 
and the miller, and that of the residence of Mr. Presant, still further dis 
tant. The former building soon caught fire, but it was, by considerable 
exertion, extinguished, and Mr. Presant s house was only kept from ignit 
ing by the use of wet blankets and water thrown by hand ; the heat was 
so intense, the sweep of the flames so overpowering, and the wind so high 
that the fire engines were useless. In less that two hours from the break 
ing out of the fire the mill was reduced to a heap of smouldering brands. 
The loss on the building, machinery and produce was estimated, by Mr 1 
Presant, at $12,000, on which there was no insurance, a policy from the 
Wellington Mutual having expired only a short time before. Mr. Pres 
ant called a few clays before the fire at the Company s office, with the 
intention of renewing the policy, but, unfortunately, did not find the 
Secretary. 

The elections did not excite very great interest in 1861. For the 
mayoralty, it was the wish of a considerable body of the electors that Mr. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 117 

John Harvey should serve another year, but at a public meeting he said, 
that though he would leave the matter in the hands of the ratepayers, he 
was not anxious to be a candidate. The election was consequently con 
tested by Mr. George Palmer and Dr. Parker, the result being that Dr. 
Parker was elected. The Councillors for the year were : East Ward- 
Messrs. C. Davidson, N. Higinbotham and Geo. Hood. South Ward- 
Messrs. H. W. Paterson, J. Kirkland and T. Holliday. West Ward- 
Messrs. G. M. Keeling, C. Buckland and T. Gowdy: North Ward Mr. 
John Harvey, Dr. Hood and Dr. Clarke. Mr. John Harvey was chosen 
Reeve, and Mr. Kirkland Deputy Reeve. 

The County Council of the year was composed of the following gen 
tlemen : 

MUNICIPALITY. REEVE. DEPUTY REEVE. 

Amaranth , C. Gillespie 

Arthur F. Thompson C. Dowd 

Elora village C. Clarke 

Eramosa D. Black L. Parkinson 

Erin P. McGill W. Everdell 

Fergus village . . . . W. Robertson 

Garafrax J. Dobbin W. Armstrong 

Guelph W. Whitelaw J. Laidlaw 

Guelph town J. Harvey J. Kirkland 

Luther D. Saunders 

Maryborough. . . .W. S. Hambly W. Ayerst 

Minto A. Harrison N . Bullock 

Nichol S. Wissler 

Peel T. Garbutt W. Sturtridge 

Pilkington J. Smith 

Puslinch Wm. Leslie S. Taylor 

Mr. Wm. Whitelaw was re-elected Warden. 

The committee of the Fanners and Mechanic s Institute, feeling 
that some more tangible proof of their appreciation of the services of 
Mr. Edwin Newton, the Secretary, was due to him than the mere routine 
vote of thanks, decided to present him with a piece of plate, which was 
done on the evening of February 2oth. The presentation was accom 
panied by the following address : 

To Edwin Newton, Esq., Secretary of the Guelph Farmers and Mechan 
ics Institute. 

We, the undersigned President and Members of Committee of the 
Institute, at the commencement of the fourth year of the discharge ot 
your duties as Secretary, beg your acceptance of the accompanying piece 
of plate, as a small testimonial of the appreciation and respect of the 
Institute toward you. We bear willing testimony to the untiring devo 
tion and cheerful support you have rendered to the Institute, not merely 
as an office-bearer, but as a private member, and that the prosperous 
and successful condition of the same is attributable in no small measure 
to yourself. 

Although your onerous and important duties have always been gra- 
tutiously rendered, we are fully persuaded that no pecuniary recompense 
would have been as acceptable as the pleasant reflection that you have 
contributed your utmost endeavors in promoting the elevating and praise 
worthy objects of the Institute, and achieving for it no trifling share of its 
present useful and flourishing position. 



118 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

The value and importance of this reflection, we trust, sir, will not be 
impaired by our tribute of sincere respect and estimation for you, both in 
your official and private character, accompanied, as it is, by the kindest 
wishers of every member of the Guelph Farmers and Mechanic s Institute. 

(Signed) A. M. JACKSON, President. 

David Savage, V. P.; James Gow, V. P.; T. Sandilancs, Treasurer ; N. 
Higinbotham. David Allan, R. M. Moore, John Horsman, T. S. Parker, 
H. W. Peterson, Robt. Melvin, John C. Allan, A. Mackenzie, James 
Cormack, A. B. Stewart, Alexander Thomson, D. Guthrie, T. Anderson. 

Mr. Newton responded in a brief but feeling manner, expressing his 
high appreciation of the kindness of his friends, and the interest which he 
would always take in the Institute. 

In the Council in April a petition, signed by Mr. Sheriff Grange and 
150 other taxpayers was presented, as follows : 
To His Worship the Mayor, and Council of the Town of Guclplt : 

The petition of the undersigned ratepayers humbly sheweth : That 
a petition was presented to your predecessors in office last year, signed 
by a large and influential portion of the taxpayers of this Municipality, 
praying that steps should be taken to lease or sell a portion of the Market 
Square ; that the Council of last year did take action and made some 
progress in the matter : that the Mayor and Council for the current year 
have applied to Parliament for power to carry out the request of said pe 
titioners ; that your petitioners some of whom signed the petition of last 
year, believe that the circumstances which existed last year, and which 
induced many to sign that petition have changed, insomuch as the busi 
ness of the Market has greatly increased"; but there is every prospect 
that it will continue to increase, and, therefore, a more apparent necessity 
to reserve the whole of the Market Square for market purposes : and 
further, that the unanimity which then existed upon its subject among 
the property-holders upon the Market Square does not now exist, and 
the strong probability is that ill feeling and litigation will result, if the 
measure originally asked for be not abandoned, are additional reasons 
which induce your petitioners respectfully to request your worshipful body 
to take immediate steps to withdraw the application recently made to 
Parliament for power to lease or sell some portion of the Market Square. 

And your petitioners, &c., 

Guelph, April 8th, 1861. 

The census of the entire county having been taken during the previ 
ous year by Mr. W. S. G. Knowles, he reported to the Town Council in 
February, that at the time of taking the census the population of Guelph 
Town was 5140. The following is a copy of the statistics: 

RELIGIOUS DENOMINATION S. 

Episcopalians 1282 

Roman Catholics 1 176 

Church of Scotland 402 

Free Church ditto 519 

United Presbyterians 173 

Wesleyans 857 

Baptists 98 

Protestants 133 

Primitive Methodists 106 

New Connection 6 

Evangelical Union 54 



POPULATION. 



Males 2547 

Females 2583 



Total 5130 

PLACES OF BIRTH. 

England 968 

Ireland 910 

Scotland 580 

Upper Canada 2339 

Lower Canada 96 

United States 141 



France, Germany, &c 96 Quakers N 






THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



119 



Congregationalists 263 

Christians 37 

Lutherans , 5 

Universalists i 

Second Adventists 6 

Episcopal Methodists 5 

EDUCATION. 

Boys attending school 457 



LIVE STOCK. 



Horses 



384 

Cows and horned cattle 559 

Sheep, 
Pigs, 



Girls 



i. 



393 



Total 850 

Males over 20 who cannot read 

or write- 40 

Females over 20 who cannot 



27 

443 

Total value $38, 1 5 1 oo 

DWELLING HOUSES. 

Stone 238 

Brick 58 

Frame 568 

Log 69 



Total 933 

FACTORIES, ETC. 

read or write 39 Grist mills 2 

Tanneries 3 



Total 79 

Widowers 53 

Widows 100 

Colored persons 10 

Lunatics 2 

Births in 1860 188 

Deaths in 1860 55 

The following were the statistical returns for the County as shown by 
the census taken at the same time: 



Breweries 3 

Distillery i 

Cloth factory i 

Planing factories 2 

Iron foundries 3 

Printing offices 3 



Townships. 


5 

L 
nT 

V) 




Females. 


H 

o 

r-r 

(0 


Wid 
owers. 


a , 

i ^ 
s v- 




S. Children. 


Births 
1860. 


Died, 
V i86o 


Males. 


Females 


Puslinch .... 
Guelph T p . . 
Nichol 


2439 
1637 

1242 

1269 

529 

599 
1258 

2702 
1699 
2620 
676 

37i 
1796 

2641 


2283 
1456 

H43 
1132 

\22 

5 3 4 

1 1 16 

2315 
H52 
2280 
570 
3i3 
1589 

2384 


4722 
3093 

2385 

2401 

1051 
"33 

2374 
5017 

3I5 1 
4900 

1246 
689 

3385 

5025 


3i 

i o 

25 

13 

II 

7 
13 
25 

17 
43 

9 

o 

26 
29 

282 


4 6 

39 
39 

38 

23 

19 

28 

5i 

27 
61 

12 

!* 

49 
67 


486 

356 
228 

347 
99 

112 

136 
5 I2 

347 

5 J 3 
141 

14 
404 
540 


424 
290 

181 

317 
126 

78 
132 

477 
306 

454 
126 

o 

327 
411 


9 I 
1 06 

49 
66 

5 1 
36 

*39 
163 

135 
216 

52 

34 
104 

145 


38 

20 

4 
1 8 

"> 

6 
34 

21 

16 

26 
ii 

7 

43 
28 


Pilkington.. . 
Elora 


Fergus. 


Minto 


Peel 


Maryborough 
Garafraxa . . . 
Amaranth . . . 
Luther 


Eramosa. . . . 
Erin 


Total . 


2IJ.78 


IQOQJ. 


J.OC72 


CO A 


i 

J.23C 1 ^6-LO 


noi 


27A 



For several years there had been a feeling that the assessment rolls 
of the County did not give so full and accurate a statement of the actual 
value of land and property as was desirable, and in taking the census on 
this occasion great care was taken to obtain such information as would 
make the statement as nearly as possible correct, and the agricultural 
census of the County showed the following figures ; 



120 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



Townships. 


Acres 
occupied. 


Under 
Cultiva 
tion. 


Cash 
value of 
Farms, $. 


Value of 
Farm Im 
plements 


Total value 
indols.ofall 
Live Stock. 


i. Puslinch 


55.679 
34 207 

33-174;^ 
24.942 
27.508 
18.744 
16.514 
54.429 
60.913 

52.439 
49.617 

43-572 
60.753 


32.884 
22.953K 
i9.653/^ 

I5-233 
16. 127 

6.625 
2.046 
24.520^ 
25 .032 

7.440^ 

13.034 
14.056^2 

32.743 


i .636.625 

i. 5 8 3 -340 
967.425 
i .226. 516 
939.150 
333-400 
105.820 
i .250. no 
1.318.570 
416.650 
599.720 
838 . 500 
1.248.974 


76.468 
56.865 
46 . 984 
49.706 

31-789 
12.780 

2.049 
55-301 
56-530 
i i . 504 

25-443 
30.171 

49.441 


232.742 
179.888 
130.165 

120. 120 
110.644 
37.680 
12.596 
167.857 

161 .669 

59-755 
81.956 

91.421 
229.755 


2. Guelph 


3. Eramosa . 


oj 

4. Nichol 


5. Pilkington... . 
6. Amaranth .... 
7 Luther 


8. Garafraxa .... 
9. Peel 


10. Minto 


1 1 . Arthur 


12. Maryborough. 
13. Erin 




Total. 


;^2.4.QI */, 


232.34.8^ 


1 2 . 4.64. . 80O 


so;, on 


i .616.248 



In June the office of postmaster of Guelph became vacant by the 
death of Mr. Robert Corbet, which occurred on Sunday, June 23rd. His 
death was alike sudden and unexpected. Having been for a short walk, 
he reached home about half-past nine, and shortly afterwards went to 
bed. He had retired but a short time, when he began to cough and spit 
blood. The nearest medical man was sent for in all haste, and Dr. 
Herod was in attendance almost immediately, only to find his patient 
beyond the reach of medical aid, and when Dr. Clarke arrived a few 
minutes later, Mr. Corbet had expired. Death was the result of the rup 
ture of a blood vessel in the region of the lungs. Mr. Corbet was in his 
59th year, healthy and robust, and with every appearance of enjoying for 
many years a green old age. He had been postmaster of Guelph for the 
long period of twenty-four years, his being one of the oldest appoint 
ments in the sen-ice, and he had seen the business of the office increase 
under his management many hundred-fold. He was diligent, industrious 
and provident in business, and had, in the course of his long residence 
in town, amassed considerable property, having erected one of the finest 
and most valuable blocks of buildings in the business portion of the town. 
He was a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and son of Mr. James Corbet, an 
old and respected employee of the Canada Company, who was present 
when the first tree was felled in Guelph. At the funeral, nearly all the 
business men in town were present, most of the stores being closed on 
that afternoon. 

In the general election, which occurred in June, consequent on the 
dissolution of Parliament, Mr Stirton, who had been elected in 1858, was 
returned without opposition in the South Riding. In the North Riding 
the contest was between Dr. Clarke and Mr. James Ross, who had de 
feated Mr. Webster at the previous election. The result was a victory 
for Dr. Clarke by 71 votes. 

Finding that it would be impossible for him to attend to the interests 
of his constituents in the North Riding of Wellington, and discharge the 
duties of Councillor at the same time, Dr. Clarke, at the meeting of the 
Town Council on August 5th, resigned his seat at the Board, and at the 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 121 

election which followed Mr. George Palmer was elected in his place 
without opposition. 

The Government having recently made some important changes in 
the location of the military stations, and some further alterations being 
in contemplation, it was thought advisable to ask the Government to 
station some of the troops in Guelph, and a memorial to that effect was 
adopted in the Council, as follows: 
To His Excellency Sir Edmund Walker Head, Barf., Coinuiander-in- 

Chief: 
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY. 

We, the Corporation of the Town of Guelph, having learned from 
the public prints that a large addition is immediately to be made to the 
military force now in Canada, beg leave respectfully to submit to your 
Excellency s favorable consideration the following among the claims of 
Guelph as a military station, or as quarters for troops. 

That in 1854 the Commissioners selected Guelph as a place for the 
erection of an arsenal. 

That Guelph is situated in the centre of one of the finest agricultural 
districts in Western Canada, with excellent gravel roads diverging into 
all parts of the interior, and is connected by the Grand Trunk Railroad 
and Great Western, with all the principal places, cities and towns in 
Upper Canada. 

That Guelph is, in population, the fourth town in the Upper Pro 
vince, and is, commercially, entitled to a much higher rank. 

That all articles of food, forage and fuel, of the best quality and in 
unlimited quantities, may be procured in Guelph, at rates as cheap, or 
cheaper, than in any other place in Canada. 

That Guelph is noted for its salubrity, and has never suffered from 
any endemic disease, while the beauty and picturesqueness of its scenery 
makes it a most desirable place of residence. 

That Guelph can offer barrack accommodation, second to none in 
the Province, not specially erected for such purpose, composed of a large 
four-story stone hotel, with a range of five three-story stone buildings 
attached, which would furnish the necessary accommodation for officers 
and men connected with which is a large stone stable. These buildings 
have an abundant supply of excellent water; opposite these buildings is 
an extensive public square which could be used as a parade ground. 
There is another large stone building in the town which could also be 
obtained if required. The whole can be had at a merely nominal rent. 

Should your Excellency grant the prayer of this Corporation, it will 
cordially give your Excellency every assistance and co-operation in 
locating a military quota in this town, and will also do everything in its 
power to make the residence of Her Majesty s troops in the town satis 
factory and pleasing. 

We therefore sincerely pray your Excellency to quarter in this town 
four or five companies of troops, and your petitioners as in duty bound 
will ever pray. 

A public meeting was soon afterwards held, when the action of the 
Council was endorsed, and Col. Webster was sent with the memorial to 
Toronto, to lay the matter before the military authorities there, and to 
Quebec, to present the memorial to the Governor-General. In reply, 
His Excellency said he would bear in mind the liberal offer made by the 
town, but at present the strength of the forces would not permit of any of 
the troops being quartered in Guelph. 



122 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

In October another vacancy occurred in the Council by the death of 
Mr. G. M. Keeling, one of the members for the West Ward. The cause 
of death was paralysis, and appoplexy of the brain. Mr. Keeling had 
resided for some years in Guelph, having been at one time proprietor of 
the Aih crtiscr, after relinquishing which he commenced the publication 
of the Mercury, which he continued to edit until his death. In the elec 
tion which followed Mr. John Keller and Mr. Henry Hatch were the can 
didates, the former being elected by a narrow majority. 

As a consequence of the outrage committed by American cruisers on 
the British steamer Trent, and the arrest on the high seas of Messrs. 
Mason and Slidell, serious fears were entertained in England and in this 
country that a war between England and the United States was immi 
nent, and as Canada would, from its proximity to the States, be the first 
to suffer, some little anxiety was felt to make such preparations, in case 
hostilities should commence, as would place the country in a comparative 
state of defence and security. With this view meetings were held all 
over the country, among the first towns to take this step being Guelph 
Not that there existed here any alarmist feeling, or that the people were 
unduly excited, but that the men of Guelph were anxious to evince their 
loyalty by being prepared in case of an emergency, and, as had been the 
case on previous occasions, be the first to place themselves in readiness 
for any contingency, and take the van in any movement for the defence 
of the country and the British Government. A numerously signed requi 
sition having been presented to the Mayor, a public meeting was called 
on December i/th, when the Town Hall was,, within a few minutes of the 
doors being opened, filled to repletion, and the meeting was accordingly 
adjourned to the Market Square, the Mayor and the speakers addressing 
the crowd, the largest ever seen at any meeting in the town before, from 
the balcony in front of the hall. The Mayor, in opening the proceedings 
said the situation in which the two countries were placed was a very grave 
one, and the result of the dispute might prove veay serious, but he was 
sure the men of Guelph would be ready to do their duty. If war did 
come, it was the duty of Canadian citizens to show that they were in a 
position to meet their foes with resolution and decision. He hoped their 
proceedings would be conducted with prudence and propriety, and if the 
worst occurred he had no doubt the men of Guelph would, as heretofore, 
prove themselves a credit to the great empire of which they formed a 
part. Addresses of a loyal and energetic character were delivered by 
Col. Webster, Hon. A. J. Fergusson, Lt.-Col. Grange, Mr. C. E. Romaine, 
Lt.-Col. Saunders, Mr. George Elliott, Mr. John Harris, and others. It 
was finally determined to appoint a committee to conduct the drilling of 
the militia in the County, and to take such other measures as might be 
deemed necessary for the organisation of the people for defense, such 
committee to be composed of Col. Webster, Lt.-Cols. Hewat, Saunders, 
Grange, and the Hon. A. J. Fergusson, Majors Greet and Wilson, Cap 
tains Schweizer, Kingsmill, Higinbotham, Hutchinson and Cain, and 
Lieut. Armstrong. It was also decided to petition the Council for the 
use of the Town buildings for drilling purposes, a request which the 
Council promptly granted. A meeting was held a lew days afterwards to 
organize a Highland Rifle Company, when addresses were delivered by 
Messrs. Adam Robertson, G. Pirie, D. Murray, J. Massie and D. Guthrie. 
The result was that about thirty names were enrolled the first evening, 
and a number of others a few days afterwards. Drilling went vigorously 
on, and munitions of war were being extensively prepared, until, a few 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 123 

days before the close of the year, Messrs. Mason and Slidell were surren 
dered to the British Government, and thus the war cloud which had 
loomed so portentously over the country for some weeks was dissipated, 
and, to some extent, the usual feeling of tranquillity was restored, though 
the men of Guelph did not wholly abandon the organizations which had 
been effected. 

The municipal elections for the year 1862 passed oft very quietly. 
The candidates for the Mayoralty were Mr. James Webster and Mr. Geo. 
Palmer, the latter being elected by a small majority. The members of 
the Council were : East Ward Messrs. Chas. Davidson, Geo. Hood, 
and R. Melvin. West Ward Messrs. Chas. Buckland, Henry Hatch 
and F. W. Galbraith. North Ward Messrs. John Harvey, Adam Rob 
ertson, and Francis Evatt. South Ward Messrs. H. W. Peterson, 
Thos. Holliday, and Dr. Parker. At the meeting of the new Council, 
Dr. Parkers was chosen Reeve, and Mr. Chas. Davidson, Deputy Reeve. 

The County Council was composed as follows: Amaranth, Chas. 
Gillespie ; Arthur, Sidney Smith, Garatt Cavanagh ; Elora (village) 
Chas. Clarke ; Eramosa, Robert Royce, James Loghrin ; Erin, P. Mc- 
Gill, Alex. Binnie ; Fergus (village), James Grindley ; Garafraxa, John 
Dobbin, Wm. Armstrong ; Guelph, Wm. W T hitelaw, James Laidlaw ; 
Guelph (town), Thomas S. Parker, Charles Davidson ; Luther, Duncan 
Saunders ; Maryboro , Wm.|iS. Hambly, Wm. Ayerst ; Minto, Noah 
Bullock, Malcolm Wright ; Nichol, Sem. Wissler ; Peel, Wm. Sturtridge, 
John Madden ; Pilkington, John Smith ; Puslinch, Win. Leslie, Samuel 
Taylor. Mr. Whitelaw \\as re-elected Warden, without opposition. 

The pulpit of Knox s Church having become vacant by the transla 
tion of Rev. McVicar, to Montreal, a call was extended, early in Janu 
ary, to Rev. W. S. Ball, of Woodstock, which being accepted he was 
duly inducted on Wednesday, February 5th. The Rev. Mr. McMicken, 
of Berlin preached an appropriate sermon from Acts xvi. 15, " Go ye 
into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." After the 
induction service, Rev. Mr. Duff, of Elora, addressed the minister, and 
Rev. Mr. Smellie, of Fergus, the congregation on their respective duties as 
pastor and people. In the evening a complimentary soiree was given to 
the newly inducted pastor, at which about 600 were present. Rev. Mr. 
McLean took the chair, and addresses were delivered by Rev. Mr. Bar- 
rie, Rev. J. Hogg, Guelph, Rev. D. Inglis, Hamilton, Rev. R. Torrance, 
Mr. D. Stirton, M. P.P., and others. Mr. Ball expressed his regret at 
the absence of his brother-in-law, Hon. George Brown, whom he had ex 
pected together with Dr. Ormiston and Dr. Thompson. The evening 
was, on the whole, one of the most enjoyable ever remembered in Knox s 
Church. On the following Sunday morning, Rev. Dr. Thompson, of 
Gait, preached from St. John v. 35, and in the evening Rev. W. S. Ball 
preached from Colossians i, 28, the church being crowded at both services. 

The vacancy in the postmastership of Guelph, which had existed 
since the death of Mr. Robert Corbet, was in April filled by the appoint 
ment of Col. Kingsmill, father of Mr. J. J. Kingsmill, of the law firm of 
Fergusson & Kingsmill. Col. Kingsmill, a veteran officer of the Penin 
sular war, had been for many years sheriff of Welland and Lincoln, the 
duties of which, as years increased, were found to be beyond his strength 
and he accordingly resigned his shrievalty to accept this appointment, 
which was a less onerous, but also a less remunerative office. There 
had been several applications for the position, and some of the candi 
dates were considerably annoyed that their claims were overlooked, but 



\ 



124 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

the general opinion was that the appointment was a good one, and would 
give general satisfaction. 

In July the congregation of Knox s Church met for the purpose of 
presenting to their pastor, Rev. W. S. Ball, a carriage as a token of the 
esteem they entertained for him personally, and the gratitude they felt to 
him for the unwearying exertions he had made in clearing off the debt 
on the church. The presentation, which consisted of a handsome Rock- 
away carriage, built by Messrs. J. B. Armstrong & Bros., was made by 
Mr. David .Stirton, M.P.P., in an appropriate address, which was feeling 
ly responded to by Mr. Ball. A few days later the congregation of St. 
Andrew s Church, through Mr. James Massie, made a similar presenta 
tion to Rev. John Hogg. 

In August a fire occurred in the planing mill of Messrs. Stewart & 
Co. on the Paisley Block Road, by which a considerable number of per 
sons were temporarily thrown out of employment, portions of the building 
being used by Messrs. Stewart, Cossitt & Goodfellow as drying premises 
and steaming rooms for material for fanning mills, &c. Besides other 
valuable property, 30,000 feet of lumber were destroyed, the loss alto 
gether being about $3,000. 

The news of the distress among the cotton operatives in Lancashire, 
England, consequent on the comparative stoppage of the supply of cotton 
from the United States, having excited much sympathy in the town, a 
public meeting was held to consider what steps should be taken to contri 
bute to the alleviation of the unfortunate condition of the operatives, and 
after some stirring speeches had been delivered by Rev. Arthur Palmer, 
Mr. Charles Davidson, Dr. Parker, Mr. G. Elliott, Mr. Hatch, Rev. W. 
S. Ball, Mr. C. E. Romaine and others, a committee, consisting of Revs. 
A. Palmer, W. S. Ball, W. F. Clarke, James Brock, John Hogg, John 
Clarke, R. Torrance, Messrs. J. Webster, G. J. Grange, C. Davidson, 
T. Sandilands, W. S. G. Knowles, George Elliott, J. McCrea, N. Higin- 
botham, H. W. Peterson, G. Murton and Dr. Howitt, was appointed to 
collect subscriptions. Meetings were held in various parts of the county, 
the result being that in a short time upwards oi 164. were collected in 
Guelph alone, which was duly forwarded to London. 

In September a telegram was received announcing that Lord Monck, 
the Governor-General, would pay a visit to Guelph, on his way to God- 
erich. Preparations were accordingly made to give him a proper recep 
tion, and on the day of the visit, September 25th, the town presented 
quite a gala appearance, flags floating over the public buildings, the 
hotels and many private houses, and as the time announced for the 
Governor-General s arrival twelve o clock drew near, preparations 
for firing a salute were observable, while the children attend 
ing several of the public schools were marched into the Market Square, 
and placed in positions favorable for viewing the proceedings. A small 
platform had been erected at the east end of the market house, on the 
line of Huskisson street, at the point where the reception of the Prince of 
Wales took place, and the best possible point for obtaining a view of the 
business part of the town, and here the Mayor and Town Council, Mr. 
William Whitelaw, County Warden, Col. Kingsmill, the Rev. Messrs. 
Palmer, Torrance, Smithurst and Clarke, Dr. Herod, Messrs. T. Sandi- 
lands, D. Allan, G. Elliott, A. B. Stewart, Major Greet, and a few other 
gentlemen, were assembled to meet His Excellency. About noon the 
special train, conveying the Governor and suite, running past the Grand 
Trunk station and along the Market Square, brought up at the platform, 






THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 125 

when amid the firing of cannon and the ringing of bells His Excellency, 
accompanied by Lord Mulgrave, the Hon. Messrs. J. S. Macdonald, Foley 
and McDougall, Mr. C. J. Brydges, Managing Director of the Grand 
Trunk Railway, and Mr. C. R. Christie, Superintendent, Mr. Sheriff 
McDonald, of Goderich, and other gentlemen, alighted. 

The Mayor having been presented to His Excellency by the Hon. 
J. S. Macdonald, immediately read the following address : 

To His Excellency the Right Honorable, the Lord Viscount Monck, Gov 
ernor-General of British North America, &t:, &*c.: 

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY: 

We, the Mayor and Corporation of the Town of Guelph, on behalf of 
ourselves and fellow townsmen, most cordially welcome your Excellency 
to Guelph. 

We regret that the briefness of your Excellency s visit, and the ab 
sence of very many of our fellow townsmen at the Provincial Exhibition, 
precludes us from offering to your Excellency that reception which we 
would heartily desire to give the honored representative of our most gra 
cious Queen, but we trust your Excellency will ere long again visit our 
town, when circumstances may permit us to acknowledge the honor in a 
manner more becoming its importance and our own wishes. 

We gladly avail ourselves of this opportunity to express our loyalty to 
the Queen, our respect for your Excellency, and our devotion to the con 
stitution of our country. 

We most earnestly hope that your Excellency, Lady Monck and 
family, may enjoy all health and happiness while resident in this Prov 
ince, and that your Excellency s administration of public affairs may tend 
to the peace and prosperity of the Province, and to draw closer these 
reciprocal relations of allegiance and protection which have hitherto 
united us to the mother country. 

Dated at Guelph, this Twenty-fifth day of September, A. D., 1862. 

JAMES HOUGH, G. PALMER, 

TOWN CLERK. MAYOR. 

His Excellency read the following Reply : 
To the Mayor and Town Council of Guelph, 
GENTLEMEN :- 

I thank you sincerely for the Address that you have presented to me, 
and I wish at the some time to express to the inhabitants of the Town 
and neighborhood, my warm acknowledgements for the kind reception 
they have given me. 

It was stated that no copy of the Council s address having been for 
warded, the response was necessarily brief. The members of the Town 
Council, the Warden, the Clergymen present, and several other gentle 
men were then presented to His Excellency by the Mayor. The 
Governor General accompanied by Lord Mulgrave, on suggestion, then 
went to the extreme end of the platform, where all around had a good 
opportunity of seeing him, and on the call of the Mayor three cheers 
were given for the Queen, and a like compliment was paid to the 
Governor General and Lord Mulgrave. Lord Monck intimated his in 
tention of paying another visit to Guelph, at no distant period, with more 
time at his disposal, and having made remarks to different gentlemen on 
the platform, including Mr. D. Allan, whom he recognized as his fellow 
passenger from Liverpool, he ascended the platform of the ear, and soon 



126 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

after the train moved on slowly amid the booming of cannon and the 
cheers of the crowd. 

The contest for the Mayoralty for 1863 commenced early, and was 
somewhat exciting. When Mr. Palmer had been elected, he had dis 
tinctly pledged himself that he would offer no opposition to the election 
of Mr. H. W. Paterson the next year, and upon that understanding Mr. 
Peterson had refrained from becoming a candidate. This pledge, how 
ever, Mr. Palmer now denied having made, and thus forced Mr. Peterson 
to take more energetic measures than would otherwise have been neces 
sary, and also to come into the field earlier than he would have done had 
Mr. Palmer not announced himself as a candidate, a course which was 
most inconsistent with his conduct all through the last contest, in which 
he strongly objected to Mr. Webster on the ground that he had served 
one term and should therefore retire. Meetings were held by both can 
didates almost every evening for some time, and the fight continued up to 
within a day or two of the nomination when Mr. Palmer, acting on the 
advice of some of his more judicious supporters, retired, and Mr. Peter 
son was consequently elected by acclamation. 

The election of Councillors for the year 1863 resulted as follows : 
East Ward Messrs. Geo. Hood, George Palmer and R. Wilson. South 
Ward -Messrs. P. Gow, E. Carroll and Dr. Parker. West Ward- 
Messrs. Henry Hatch, George Elliott and W. F. Galbraith. North 
Ward Messrs. John Harvey, A. Robertson and R. Mitchell. Mr. Geo. 
Palmer was elected Reeve and Mt. George Elliott Deputy Reeve. 

The members of the County Council for the year were as follows : 

Amaranth Charles Gillespie ; Arthur Robert Morrison, Sidney 
Smith ; Elora Charles Clarke ; Eramosa Robert Royce, Jas. Loghrin ; 
Erin P. McGill, Alex. Binnie ; Fergus James Cattanach ; Garafraxa 
-A. Drysdale, A. Dyce ; Guelph Town--Gerge Palmer, Geo. Elliott; 
Guelph Township John Rennie, G. Shortreed ; Luther Mr. Saunders ; 
Maryborough Wm. Ayerst, W. S. Hambly ; Minto A. Harrison, M. 
Wright ; Nichol George Barren, John Beattie ; Peel Thomas Garbutt, 
W. Sturtridge ; Pilkington John Smith ; Puslinch W. Leslie, W. Clark ; 
Mr. George Elliott was elected W T arden. 

For some time there had been a desire on the part of the towns 
people that some place should be provided for holding concerts, balls, 
&c., independent of the Town Hall, which was not always available, and 
not in all cases suitable. To supply this want Mr. John Thorp, with his 
usual enterprise, erected a very commodious hall adjoining his hotel on 
Macdonnell Street, and on New Years eve it was opened by a grand ball 
and supper, under the patronage of Airs. Sheriff Grange. The ball was 
opened by Col. Webster and Mrs. Grange, and dancing was continued 
with great vivacity until after the new year had come in, when the com 
pany sat down to an elegant supper, presided over by Col. Webster, after 
which dancing was resumed and kept up till about four o clock. 

In the Gazette of January i6th the following appointments on the 
Commission of the Peace were announced: Guelph Town Judge A. 
Macdonald, Messrs. Geo. Elliott, Fred. W. Stone, A. A. Baker, John 
Neeve, David Allan, George Pirie, William Hewat, William Clarke, 
James Armstrong, John McCrea, W. S. G. Knowles. William Day, John 
Horsman, John Harris, Jr., James Webster, Sr., Charles Davidson, T. S. 
Parker, P. Gow, A. Robertson, R. Melvin, William Stewart, W. F. Gal 
braith, N. Higinbotham, Edwin Newton, James Hough ; and for the 
Township Messrs. William Whitelaw, James Luidlaw, Thomas Hood, 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 127 

John Rannie, R. Campbell, A. McCorkindale, William Logan, William 
Benham, Jr., John Hobson, Jr., John Kirkland, S. Hodgskin, William 
Alexander, Andrew Quarry, J. C. Chadwick, John Card, Arthur Hogge, 
William T. Vale, Henry Watson, W. H. Parker, Charles Mickle, Richard 
Jackson, George Shortreed and James Wright, Sr. 

Hon. A. J. Fergusson-Blair having returned from a visit to Scotland, 
a number of his friends, without regard to political differences, tendered 
htm a dinner, which was given in Thorp s new hall on January 29th, a 
large number of ladies and gentlemen from all parts of the country being 
present. Col. Webster, in the absence of Mr. Sheriff Grange through 
indisposition, occupied the chair, and on his right sat the guest of the 
evening; Mr. J. Cowan, M.P.P.; Mr. G. Davidson, Sheriff of Waterloo ; 
Mr. George Elliott, Warden of Wellington ; Dr. Clarke, M.P.P.; Mr. C. 
E. Romaine, Mr. McK. Stewart and Col. Hewat ; while on his left sat 
Hon. W. Dickson, Col. Kingsmill, Dr. Parker, Mr. P. Gow, Mr. D. Stir- 
ton, M.P.P., Mr. H. W. Peterson, Mayor of Guelph, Mr. William White- 
law, and others. Speeches were delivered by Mr. Fergusson-Blair, Dr. 
Clarke, Mr. Stirton, Hon. Mr. Dickson, Mr. Webster, Col. Kingsmill and 
Mr. Romaine, the company separating just before midnight. 

The Hon. A. J. Fergusson-Blair having accepted the portfolio of 
Receiver-General, a new election became necessary in the Brock Elec 
toral Division, and the nomination took place March 28th. Mr. Fergus- 
son was nominated by Mr. James Ross, and seconded by Mr. Elias Eby; 
Dr. Parker, of Guelph, being nominated by Mr. John Rennie, and sec 
onded by Mr. James Mitchell, of Eramosa. Dr. Parker, after addressing 
the electors, and consulting some friends, withdrew his name, and 
nominated Mr. George Pirie, editor of the HERALD, but that gentleman 
positively declined the honor, and Mr. Fergusson-Blair was consequently 
returned without a contest. 

At the Assizes in April, John Bain, a tavern-keeper in Elora, and 
John Bain, his son, were tried for the alleged murder of Thomas Ly sight, 
on February 28th. The deceased went into the tavern on the clav named, 
and with some others made a disturbance, and young Bain put him out, 
when a general fight ensued, in which the two Bains struck deceased 
several times, and finally he was knocked clown, his head striking a 
stone, death resulting shortly afterwards from concussion of the brain. 
The defence was that Lysight was a very violent man, and that he had 
caused the dispute, the injuries he received being inilicted in the course 
of a fight in which he was the aggressor, and that the prisoners had acted 
only in self-defence. After a few minutes absence the jury returned a 
verdict of "not guilty. 

The Macdonald-Sicotte ministry having been conclemed by Parlia 
ment on a vote of want of confidence moved by Hon. John A. Macdonald, 
on April 28th, Parliament was dissolved and a general election took 
place early in June. In the South Riding Mr. D.ivid Stirton was nomi 
nated by Mr. George Elliott, Warden, and seconded by Mr. P. McGill, 
Reeve of Erin. No other nominations being made, Mr. Stirton was de 
clared elected. In the North Riding Dr. Parker, of Guelph, was nomi 
nated by Mr. Robert Hay, of Maryborough, and seconded by Mr. E. 
Passmore, of Pilkington. Dr. Clarke, of Guelph, was nominated by Col. 
Drysdale, of Garafraxa, and seconded by Dr. Maudslay, of Maryboro. 
Mr. John Beattie, of Nichol, then nominated Mr. George Palmer, who 
was seconded by Mr. George Spafford, of Drayton. Mr. Palmer, how 
ever, did not go to the poll. The result of the election was in favor of 



128 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

Dr. Parker, which was undoubtedly due to the fact of Dr. Clarke s over- 
confidence, causing him to delay the commencement of his canvass until 
within a few days of the nomination, and his indecision in giving a defi 
nite answer as to whether he would be a candidate or not. 

A few days after the election the friends of Mr. Stirton entertained 
him at dinner at the Wellington Hotel, among those present being Hon. 
M. H. Foley, M.P.P.; Hon. J. C. Aikens, M.L.C., Mr. J. Cowan, M.P.P., 
Mr. J. Rymal, At. P.P., Dr. Parker, M.P.P., Messrs. James Ross, George 
Elliott, H. W. Peterson, C. K. Romaine, II. H. SAvinford, N. Higin- 
botham and W. Whitelaw. A number of speeches were made, congratu 
lating Mr. Stirton on his success. 

In April Dr. Clarke made an offer to the vestry of St. George s 
Church to purchase the site on St. George s Square for the sum of $10,- 
ooo, which was accepted, the congregation being anxious to build a more 
suitable edifice on Woolwich street. In July Dr. Clarke offered to trans 
fer the site to the Town, at the same price, an offer which was not then 
accepted. 

In August the town sustained a severe loss in the death of Mr. 
James Wright, one of the oldest settlers. Mr. Wright, from the time he 
arrived here, took a deep interest in all public matters, and served in 
various offices, in the old District Councils, as Commissioner of County 
Roads, as Reeve and as Warden. He took an especial interest in the 
development of the resources of the district, and in the opening up of 
means of communication Avith the adjacent country, more particularly in 
the building of the Brock Road, the completion of which Avas largely due 
to his energy and perseverance. In 185 1 Mr. Wright ran in the Conserva- 
tiA r e interest against Mr. A. J. Fergusson for the representation of the 
County in Parliament, and Avas only defeated by a small majority. Since 
that time he had taken an active interest in the Agricultural Societies of 
the County and ToAvnship, and for some years had acted as Secretary- 
Treasurer to the South Riding Agricultural Society, which, Avith the 
other societies Avith which he Avas identified, seA-erely felt his loss. 

The town having noAv assumed such proportions as to AA arrant the 
step, a moA r ement was set on foot, on the suggestion of the Mayor, to 
induce the managers of the Provincial Exhibition to hold the shoAv of 
1864 in Guelph, and a public meeting Avas called, at Avhich it Avas resolved 
to ask the Council to make a grant of $2,000 towards the necessary 
funds, and also to ask the County Council to vote a similar amount, 
which, with $1,000 Avhich it Avas expected to raise by priA ate subscrip 
tion, and $500 it Avas hoped Avould be granted by the ToAvnship, it was 
thought Avould be sufficient to defray the expenses. The proposal Avas 
rejected by the Directors of the ProA-incial Exhibition, and a movement 
was subsequently set on foot for a County show, the result of Avhich Avill 
appear hereafter. 

On Sunday, October 4th, the ceremony of laying the corner stone of 
the Roman Catholic Church of St. Bartholomew was performed. The 
Avork had been in progress for some time, and the stone Avork had been 
raised to a considerable height, and the south side of the partially-built 
Avails was tastefully decorated Avith evergreens and streamers. The pro 
cession, headed by the Bishop, passed from the old church to the Avest 
end of the HCAV buildings, Avhere the sanctuary Avas to be, at Avhich place 
the Bishop blessed a large wooden cross, placed on the site to be occu 
pied by the altar. The procession then passed to the front of the church, 
Avhere the corner stone Avas placed, and there the Bishop uncovered, and 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 129 

assisted by the attendant clergymen, recited certain liturgies and prayers, 
in latin, the choir afterwards singing the i37th Psalm, "Except the Lord 
build the house," &c. , and while the corner stone was being adjusted in 
its place, the Bishop, wearing his mitre, recited a prayer in Latin, and 
having blessed the corner stone, assisted by the clergy, he repeated the 
5 ist Psalm, also in Latin. A vessel containing a roll of parchment, bear 
ing the following inscription in Latin and English, was deposited under 
the corner stone ; the Latin inscription was also engraved on a sheet of 
zinc : 

" His Lordship Right Rev. John Farrell, D. D., First Bishop of 
Hamilton, blessed and laid the first stone of this Church, to be built to 
the honor of God, under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, con 
ceived without sin, and of St. Bartholomew, Apostle and Patron of the 
Parish, the 4th day of October, the Feast of the Holy Rosary of the 

B. V. M., A. D. 1863. 

" Pius IX., Pope ; Flavian Turgeon, Archbishop ; Very Revs. Ed. 
Gordon, V. G., John Walsh, V. G.; Revs. M. M. O Shea, S. Maheut, 
Ed. Glowalski, J. Holzer, S. J., Sup. ; Dh. Petit, S. J., J. Archibald, 
S. J., N. Sorg, S. J., assisting. 

" Victoria, Queen ; Lord Monck, Governor-General of Canada ; 
H. W. Peterson, Iviayor of Guelph." 

Subsequently the Bishop, clergy, etc., passed in procession 
around the site of the church, reciting prayers in Latin, and sprinkling 
the foundations of the building with holy water. Having made the cir 
cuit of the church, the clergy on returning to the corner stone sung the 
hymn "Veni Creator Spiritus," and the ceremony was concluded with 
prayer by the Bishop. After this, the Rev. J. Walsh, V. G., of Toronto, 
ascending a temporary pulpit, wreathed with evergreens, delivered a long 
and eloquent discourse, having reference to the erection of the new 
church, lauding the zeal of those by whom the work had been pro 
jected and undertaken, and pointing out the benefits that must accrue 
from the erection to the present and future generations. 

There was very little excitement over the municipal elections for 
1864, only one candidate coining forward for the mayoralty, Dr. William 
Clarke, who was elected by acclamation. The members of the Council 
were: East Ward, Messrs. George Hood, G. Palmer and R. Melvin. 
South Ward, Messrs. H. W. Peterson, P. Gow and J. Lamprey. West 
Ward, Messrs. G. Elliott, H. Hatch and R. Hampson. North Ward, 
Messrs. J. Harvey, A. Robertson and Richard Mitchell. Mr. George 
Palmer was elected Reeve, and Mr. Adam Robertson, Deputy-Reeve. 

The County Council was composed of the following gentlemen : 
Guelph Town George Palmer, Adam Robertson ; Guelph Township- 
George Murton, Robert Campbell; Nichol Samuel Wissler, Wm Tay 
lor ; Pilkington John Smith ; Elora Chas. Clarke ; Fergus James 
Cattanach ; Garafraxa Alex. Dyce, George Monger ; Orangeville F. 

C. Stewart ; Amaranth Charles Gillespie ; Luther Duncan Saunders ; 
Maryborough Wm. Ayerst, Joseph Madill ; Minto Archibald Harri 
son, Noah Bullock; Peel Geo. Allan, Robert McKim ; Puslinch Wm. 
Leslie, John Clark; Eramosa James Loghrin, Robert Royce ; Erin- 
George Martin, J. Bennie ; Arthur Robert Stevenson, S. Smith. Mr. 
Wm. Leslie was elected Warden. 

The Primitive Methodists in the town had long been in need of a 
more suitable place of worship, but how to obtain one with their limited 
means was for some time a difficulty. To commence a building fund 



130 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



the ladies held a bazaar in 1862, subscription lists were opened in March 
1 863, and when they commenced the building, at about that time, they were 
not sure ot being able to push on the work very rapidly. By subscriptions 
from members and the general public, assisted by the Ladies Aid Society, 
they succeeded in raising nearly $1000, before the building was complet 
ed, and on February i2th the dedication services took place, the sermons 
on that and the following Sunday, being preached by Revs. R. Boyle, R. 
Cade, W. F. Clarke, J. Pringle, and J. A. Millar. At the soiree on the 
following Tuesday evening, addresses were delivered by Revs. W. S. Ball, 
John Hogg and others. 

On the night of Wednesday, June 8th a most disasterous fire occur- 
ed at the Peoples Mills, owned by Mr. W. P. McLaren of Hamilton, and 
leased at the time by Mr. Charles Whitelaw, of Paris. The fire, Avhich 
had commenced in a shed, containing about 1000 empty barrels, was soon 
communicated to the main building, and although the firemen were speed 
ily on the ground, and hundreds of the inhabitants were prompt to aid the 
firemen in their endeavors to subdue the raging element, it was soon evid 
ent that all efforts to save the mill would be ineffectual, and means were 
consequently used to get out the produce, utensils, and furniture in the 
building. Under the direction of Mr. Gay, the mill manager and Mr. 
Arkell, the foreman, a considerable quantity of flour in barrels, together 
with the office safe, books &c. were removed. Meantime the fire continu 
ed to increase rapidly, and breaking through the roof, an immense column 
of flames rose to a great height, lighting up the town and country for 
miles around. At one time it was feared that a shed in front of the build 
ing, containing some 2,000 barrels of flour, and also Mr. Hockin s stave 
factory, would be destroyed, but, though several times ignited, the efforts 
of the people of the town were successful in saving them. In less than 
two hours from the time of the alarm the ruin was complete, nothing but 
the blackened walls remaining. The total loss was nearly $30,000 on 
which there was but a comparatively small insurance. An inquest was 
held by Dr. Howitt, when evidence was adduced which left no doubt that 
the fire was the work of an incendiary, but nothing definite was proved to 
show who the guilty party or parties were, though several persons had 
been heard to make threats, which left a strong suspicion on the minds 
of the jury as to who had accomplished the work of destruction. 

Early in August the town was shocked by the occurance of a fright 
ful case of assault, which terminated fatally shortly afterwards. On the 
night of Saturday, August 6th, Mr. John Platt, a tavern keeper, who was 
highly respected in the town, retired as usual. The night being exceed 
ingly warm he could not sleep, and went out on the sidewalk, where he 
fell asleep in a chair. At about four o clock in the morning Mr. William 
Mitchell, tailor, while returning to his residence from the railway station, 
discovered Mr. Platt lying on the sidewalk, and assisted him into the 
house, when medical aid was at once procured, and it was found that he 
had been most brutally beaten, several of his ribs having been broken, 
and other injuries inflicted. Mr. Platt said he had been set upon by two 
men, whom he did not recognize, who, without any provocation assaulted 
him so suddenly that he had not an opportunity to defend himself. He 
rallied for a time, but died on Friday, an inquest being held the same 
day, but adjourned till the following Wednesday, when the iury brought 
in a verdict that in their opinion deceased had come to his death by 
violence, but at_whose hands there was no evidence to show. 

Scarcely had the funeral of Mr. Platt taken place when another 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 131 



tavern keeper, named Henry Hughes, died under what were considered 
suspicious circumstances, and an inquest was held in this case by Dr. 
Herod. The evidence went to show that deceased had been somewhat 
addicted to drink, but not to such an extent as to cause the symptoms 
displayed. Being troubled with diarrhoea, he sent to the drug store kept 
by Mr. Robert Farley for some medicine, and was supplied with what 
was said to be a cholera preventive. Soon after taking the medicine he 
was seized with violent pains, which increased in intensity, so that the 
doctors who were summoned could not afford him any relief, and he 
soon afterwards died. The evidence was very voluminous, especially 
that given by medical experts, and the jury brought in a verdict that 
death had been caused by sub-acute inflammation of the stomach, super 
induced by intemperate habits, but accelerated by an over-dose of Liquor 
Ammonia Fort, combined with other drugs, taken in excess by deceased, 
and improperly administered by Robert Farley, chemist and druggist. 
The jury censured Mr. Farley for the carelessness displayed in com 
pounding and prescribing the medicine. Mr. Farley was subsequently 
arrested on a charge of manslaughter, but at the Assizes the Grand Jury 
threw out the bill, much to the satisfaction of the public, who sympa 
thized with him in his unfortunate mistake. 

At a meeting of the Town Council in October the seat of Mr. J. 
Lamprey, one of the members for the South Ward, was declared vacant, 
by reason of his absence from the locality longer than the time prescribed 
by law. An election was therefore ordered, the candidates being Mr. C. 
E. Romaine and Mr. J. T. Cunningham, the result being the election of 
Mr. Romaine by 42 to 7. 

At the nomination for the Mayoralty in December Dr. Clarke was 
again the only candidate and was consequently declared elected. The 
election for Councillors for 1865 was conducted with more energy and 
spirit than for many years past, and resulted as follows : South Ward 
Messrs. P. Gow, C. E. Romaine and H. W. Peterson. West Ward 
Messrs. H. Hatch, G. Elliott and Jas. Massie. East Ward Messrs. 
Geo. Hood, N. Higinbotham and J. Harris. North Ward Messrs. J. 
Harvey, R. Mitchell and A. Robertson. Mr. H. W. Peterson was chosen 
Reeve, and Mr. Geo. Elliott, Deputy Reeve. Mr. George Hood then 
entered a protest against the election of Mr. Elliott as Deputy Reeve, on 
the ground that he had, by himself or partner, an interest in a contract 
with the town. The protest, however, was not pressed. 

The County Council consisted of the following members :--Guelph 
Town H. W. Peterson, Geo. Elliott ; Eramosa Jas. Loghrin, Robert 
Royce ; Guelph Township George Murton, R. Campbell ; Puslinch 
Wm. Leslie, J. Clark; Fergus M. Anderson; Erin Geo. Martin; A. 
Binnie ; Minto N. Bullock, M. Wright; Nichol -J. Beattie, S.Wissler; 
Elora J. M. Fraser ; Amaranth C. Gillespie . Maryboro , J. Madill, 
W. S. Hambly ; Garafraxa Geo. Monger, W. H. Hunter ; Orangeville 
Thos. Jull ; Peel Wm. Sturtridge, John Madden ; Pilkington John 
Smith ; Arthur D. Saunders, J. Small, ; Luther Robert Stevenson. 
Mr. Leslie was re-elected Warden. 

The financial position of the Town at this time may be briefly sum 
marized as follows : The debt of the Town, (without the Railroad debt), 
was : Debentures falling due during the next 12 years $43,826 ; Rail 
road debt, (originally $80,000, 7.2oths paid,) say $52,000. Total debt, 
$95,826. The assets were : Market Square and Public Buildings there 
on, paying at the time nearly 6 per cent, were worth $80,000. School 



132 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

houses in the different wards, and school property, say $10,000. Gait 
and Guelph Railway stock $70,000. This paid no direct revenue, but an 
indirect benefit was derived from it. Debentures of Village of Preston, 
$9000, and Guelph Township $10,000. These paid 6 per cent. Ceme 
tery property worth $1,900. Total assets say, $181,500. 

During the month of January the town lost two of its oldest, most 
prominent and useful citizens by death. The first was that of Mr. Wm. 
Day, which occurred on the 7th. He was one of the most spirited and 
enterprising of the early settlers, and to his active exertions much of the 
material progress of the town was due, by his indefatigable efforts and 
untiring industry, he having contributed an unusually large share to the 
building up of the place, many of the public buildings here, as also in 
other towns, having been erected by him. On the 27th inst, another 
most useful and enterprising citizen was removed by the death of Mr. 
John Thorp, also a builder, who had erected, perhaps, a greater portion 
of the buildings in the town than any other man. Mr. Thorp came to 
Guelph in 1828, and at once engaged actively in building houses for the 
new settlers. St. Andrew s church, demolished to give a site for the 
market buildings, the original St. George s church, the first Roman Ca 
tholic church and several hotels, were all of his workmanship, and exhib 
ited the good taste and practical skill which he possessed to a large 
degree. He afterwards went into the hotel business, occupying at various 
times different hotels, including the North American, and, after his 
return from the campaign in the -Mackenzie rebellion, the British hotel. 
From the first introduction of railroads in the Province, he had been ex 
ceedingly desirous of getting a line to run from Toronto to Guelph, and 
this object and the erection of a market house on the Market Square, were 
xealously advocated by him, and he had the gratification of seeing the 
Toronto railway scheme inaugurated while he was a member of the first 
Municipal Council. Being of a speculative turn, he purchased among 
other property, a tract of land, and laid out a village between Guelph 
and Elora, which he called Thorpvillc, where he procured the establish 
ment of a post office. In 1855, he retired from business and occupied, 
for some time, the handsome residence, erected by him, now occupied by 
Mr. John Horsman. He soon returned to business, however, occupying 
the International hotel, now known as the City hotel, which he enlarged 
to four times its original capacity. 

It having been customary, during the Spring, for Rev. W. S. Ball, of 
Knox s church, and Mrs. Ball, to have a re-union of the members of the 
Bible classes under their instruction, the members of Mrs. Ball s class 
resolved to mark the one this year by a presentation, with an address, 
expressive of their grateful appreciation of her unwearied labors for their 
good. The presentation consisted of a handsome tea set, the tea pot 
bearing an appropriation inscription. 

When the news of the brutal assassination of President Lincoln was 
received here, the people deeply sympathized with the American nation 
in the serious loss they had sustained, and promptly and readily gave 
expression to their feelings by such outward observances as the melan 
choly occasion demanded. On the day appointed for the funeral obse 
quies of the late President, therefore, the stores, offices, workshops, c., 
throughout the town were closed, and business generally suspended for 
two hours. The national colors were hoisted athalf-rnast from the Town 
Hall, the Court House and several other buildings, while the town bell 
was tolled at funeral time. Religious services were held in the Town 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 133 

Hall at one o clock, by Rev. R. Torrance, assisted by Revs. Messrs. Ball, 
Hogg, Carroll, Pedley and GrafHey. Appropriate passages of scripture 
were read, the audience engaged in singing psalms and hymns suitable 
to the occassion, and the clergymen offered roleinn and impressive pray 
ers for the afflicted nation, the bereaved widow and family of the 
deceased, and for the survivors whose lives had been attempted, and who 
were still in danger from wounds inflicted by the assassins. After this the 
Hon. Mr. Foley delivered an eloquent and impressive address, dwelling 
on the admirable life and character of the late President, concluding 
with the hope that the cordial spirit of amity which then existed between 
the two nations, evinced on the part of Canadians by the services which 
were then being held all over the country, would remain forever un 
broken. 

In May the business community sustained a severe loss by the death 
of Mr. Thos. Sandilands, one of the oldest and most justly esteemed 
residents of the town. He became a resident of Guelph in 1832, when 
the town was recovering from a state of depression, consequent on a 
commercial crisis. He commenced business as a store keeper, and suc 
cessfully carried it on for over twenty years. A few years after his 
settlement here he was appointed local agent for the Gore Bank, the 
first bank agency established in Guelph. When he relinquished mer 
cantile pursuits he retained the bank agency, and was afterwards 
appointed manager of the bank, an appointment he held at the time of 
his death. In the management of the bank he might have been con 
sidered by some as a little too cautious, but his probity and sincerity in 
all his dealings were unquestionable. More lucrative employment was 
more than once offered him by other banking companies, which he de 
clined, he preferring to remain in Guelph, where he had made so many 
friends and where his influence and benevolence rendered him so useful 
a citizen. He died on May 22nd, the immediate cause of his death 
being rusart disease. 

The school accommodation having for some time been very inade 
quate for the accommodation of the large number of children in 
attendance, it was resolved, at a meeting of the School Trustees held in 
May, to call upon the Council to assess the Town for the purpose of 
building a new girls school, the attendance of the female pupils having 
largely fallen off recently on account of the health of many of the child 
ren having been affected by the insufficient accommodation. A public 
meeting was called a few days afterwards, when resolutions were passed 
to the effect that it was inexpedient to build another school house as it 
was not then required by the inhabitants, especially while business was 
in such a depressed state as at that time. The School Trustees were 
therefore asked to rescind their resolution. At the next meeting of the 
Trustees a committee was appointed to confer with a committee of the 
Town Council as to the best means of raising the required money for 
building the school house, but the Council declined the conference, and 
the Trustees therefore proceeded to award the tenders for the building 
which was commenced with at once. 

In September the committee on Finance and Assessment presented 
to the Town Council a report in which the following recommendations 
were made: "That a petition be drawn up and signed by the Mayor 
and Clerk, setting forth the most prominent subjects in the bills before 
the Legislature which they considered objectionable, and the amend 
ments they considered would be beneficial, as set forth in the following 






134 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

clauses of the report :^-Personal property should be assessed upon a 
sliding scale, but that incomes under $400 should be exempt in towns 
and cities, and that the sliding scale should advance at the rate of $200, 
from $400 to $1000 ;at the rate of $500 from $1000 to $5000; at the of 
$1000 from $4000 to $10,000 and at the rate of $2,500 from $40,000 and 
for higher sums increasing by $5,000. That the heads of all corpora 
tions should be elected by the members of each corporation as there 
could be no valid reason why towns, as in the proposed Bill, should be an 
exception to all other municipal organizations. That all persons voting 
on by-laws for creating debt should be freeholders or tenants under lease 
for the same period of years as the debt is incurred ; also, that provision 
might be made compelling municipal councils to annually assess for their 
indebtedness and limit their power of creating debt. That Boards of 
School Trustees in towns should be compelled to levy and collect the 
amount required for their use, that the anomaly of a corporation within a 
corporation should not exist, and that as Boards of School Trustees were 
elected by the ratepayers, as well as municipal corporations, the inter 
vention of the Town Council should not be required to furnish the Board 
of School Trustees with funds for its purposes. These recommendations 
were adopted, with the exception of that referring to the election of the 
Head of the Corporation which was negatived by a vote of 8 to 4, the 
vote standing, Yeas: The Mayor, Messrs. Gow, Peterson and Romaine. 
Nays: Messrs. Massie, Elliott, Higinbotham, Harris, Hood, Robertson, 
Harvey and Mitchell. 

The candidates for the mayoralty for 1866 were Mr. Peter Gow and 
Mr. John Harris, Jun. The contest was conducted with some little 
bitterness, in consequence of some persons having circulated the un 
founded report that Mr. Harris entertained some sympathy with Fenian- 
ism, an imputation which his principal opponents afterwards disavowed 
in the most honorable manner. The election was close, resulting in the 
return of Mr. Peter Gow. The members of the Council were: East Ward, 
Messrs. R. Melvin, N. Higinbotham and T. Savers ; South Ward, 
Messrs. H. W. Peterson, T. Holliday and J. Day ; West Ward, Messrs. 
George Elliott, H. Hatch and James Massie ; North Ward, Messrs. 
John Harvey, R. Mitchell and Dr. Herod. Mr. H. W. Peterson was 
elected Reeve, and Mr. James Massie, Deputy Reeve. 

The members of the County Council for this year were : Messrs. 
D. Allan, John Beattie, Noah Bullock, John Burkholder, A. Binnie, John 
Clark, Robert Campbell, John Dobbin, J. M. Eraser, C. Gillespie, W. H. 
Hunter, W. S. Hambly, John Jebb, William Leslie, James Loghrin, Geo. 
Martin, James Massie, George Murton, Robert McKim, H. W. Peterson, 
Robert Royce, Joseph Small, D. Saunders, John Smith, F. C. Stewart, 
Robert Stevenson, J. B. Wyllie, J. Wynn, Malcolm Wright. Mr. John 
Smith, Reeve of Pilkington, was elected Warden. 

At a meeting of the Town Council in January, the question of the 
erection of a drill shed was brought up for settlement. During the pre 
vious year the County Council had made an appropriation, as also did 
the Township Council, towards the building of such a shed, it being 
hoped these amounts would be supplemented by the Militia Department, 
and the matter being left to the management of the Town Council, ten 
ders were advertised for, and a plan prepared by Mr. Murray, architect, 
was provisionally accepted. This plan was for a building 80 by 300 feet, 
more of the Crystal Palace type than the ordinary drill shed, it being 
proposed to use iron and glass to a large extent in its erection. It was 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 135 



to be octagonal in shape, the main building to be 39 feet in height to the 
eaves, the lantern in the centre to rise to the height of 80 feet. After 
further consideration, and correspondence with the Militia Department, 
however, this plan was rejected, and the matter was relegated to the 
Drill Shed Committee, with instructions to obtain a plan of a building 
to cost not more than $2,000. This was done, and in the course of the 
summer the present building was erected. 

At about the same time a resolution was passed in the Council for 
the erection of twenty-five street lamps, these being the first street lamps 
used in the town. 

The oil fever, which had at this time taken possession of almost the 
whole country, had for some little time shown symptoms of breaking out 
in Guelph, and though the people here were not so violently affected as 
in many places, several capitalists were unable to resist the temptation of 
joining in the speculations then being brought before them. Some of 
them were moderately fortunate, though others sustained some losses, in 
a few cases to a considerable amount, but not enough to deter others 
from embarking in similar enterprises. From taking stock in wells 
owned by companies in London, Sarnia, and other places, some of our 
merchants soon .began to agitate for the formation of companies of their 
own, among which was the Wellington Rock Oil Company, of which Mr. 
James Hough was president and treasurer, and Messrs. James Hough, 
Archibald Spiers, George Hough and M. Ryan, of Guelph, James Nee- 
lands, of Brampton, George Randall, of Waterloo, and W. A. Shearson, 
of Gait, were directors. The company purchased land in Enniskillen, 
where they erected works and set up a 1 6 horse-power engine. For a 
time the speculation paid very well, but afterwards, though there was 
little if any loss ultimately, the company stopped, the wells not paying 
sufficiently well to warrant the continuance of operations. Other com 
panies were also started, but did not turn out so profitable as this one. 

The Fenian organization in New York having resolved on making 
raids into Canada at various points on the frontier, the Government, as 
soon as definite information reached them, took prompt measures for 
the defence of the country, and the ministers were summoned to the 
capital, when orders were issued for calling out the volunteers. On 
Thursday, March isth, the following telegram was received in Guelph.:- 
" Immediately on the arrival of the Hon. Mr. McGee from Montreal, a 
Cabinet Council held an important sitting. Present: Messrs. John A. 
Macdonald, Gait, Campbell, McGee, Chapais, Cockburn and Fergusson- 
Blair. In view of present circumstances, the vast amount of property at 
stake, and the more important consideration of the protection of our 
fellow-subjects along the frontier, exposed to the marauding operations 
of Fenians, it was resolved to call out, at once, ten thousand volunteers 
for the protection and defence of the Canadian frontier. This step is 
adopted merely as a precautionary measure ; but if wanted for more act 
ive service, the volunteers will be on hand. It is hoped active exer 
tions will not be necessary ; but if they arc, the Government relies with 
confidence on the courage of the Canadian volunteers." The Guelph 
Rifles were quickly in readiness to leave for any point where they might 
be required, and in the course of two or three days were ordered, with 
the Goderich Rifies, to Sarnia, under the command of Lt.-Col. Higin- 
botham. They were afterwards removed to St. Marys and Windsor, 
but were not called upon to suppress any hostile demonstrations, their 
service being rather that of preventing than resisting attack, a duty 



136 ,iTHE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

which, if not so glorious for them, was far more satisfactory to the 
country, though there can be no doubt there were many who would have 
preferred that our citizen soldiery should have an opportunity to teach 
the miscreants a lesson. The men finally returned to Guelph on July 
nth, when they were received by the people in a most enthusiastic man 
ner, a large procession being formed, escorted by the firemen with 
torches; and on reaching the Town Hall the Mayor delivered an address 
on behalf of the inhabitants, thanking them for the manner in which 
they had done their duty, and on the following morning they were tem 
porarily mustered out. 

At the meeting of the Town Council July 2nd, Mr. Hatch resigned 
his seat as member for the West Ward, and in the following week Mr. 
Alexander Thomson was elected in his place. 

In August the town was shocked by the perpetration of a horrible 
murder. An aged couple named Andrew and Margaret May had for 
some years occupied a shanty on the farm of Mr. John Rennie, near the 
Catholic cemetery. For several months Mrs. May had been confined to 
her bed by sickness, and had been for some time an inmate of the Cath 
olic hospital. Soon after her return, her husband commenced a course 
of brutal treatment towards her, and on the night of August nth she 
was discovered lying outside the shanty, moaning piteously, and was 
removed to her bed. On Sunday May sent to the cemetery for Mrs. 
Margaret Hurley, wife of the sexton, who on her arrival found Mrs. May 
dead in bed, and from the appearance of the body there was no doubt a 
brutal murder had been committed. An inquest was accordingly held, 
when the evidence clearly showed that death had resulted from a violent 
shock to the system, caused by the numerous injuries which had evidently 
been inflicted by some blunt instrument. A verdict was rendered 
accordingly, and May was committed to the Assizes. At the trial in 
October the prisoner was convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to 
two years imprisonment in the common gaol. 

During the month of August the government received news which 
induced them again to call upon the volunteers, and the Guelph Rifles 
were ready at once, and on the morning of the 23rd they left for Thorold, 
being accompanied to the station by a large number of citizens. They 
were away only a short time, however, the necessity for their services 
having been obviated by the prompt action of the government. At this 
time the feeling had been rapidly gaining strength that some more 
effective measures should be taken for arming the men of this town and 
county, and a public meeting was called, at which Dr. Howitt read a 
paper upon a scheme which he had thought would be worthy of consi 
deration by the government. He stated that the object was to arm for 
defensive purposes a great portion of the inhabitants of the County with 
the breech-loading rifle, and accustom them to its use without materially 
interfering with their industrial pursuits, and without incurring any seri 
ous outlay on the part of the Government and municipalities. It was on 
the assumption that this co-operation could be secured that the plan was 
based. The different municipalities or townships must appropriate a 
certain sum annually to give prizes, the prizes to be awarded to the best 
rifle shots in those municipalities. The Government would nave to fur 
nish the rifles at something below cost price, and ammunition at cost 
price, and moreover appropriate a certain annual sum for prizes to be 
competed for by the best rifle shooters in the Province. He also ex 
plained a system of matches, for which he proposed that the Government 



THE ANNALS OP THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 137 



and private individuals should offer prizes. Speeches were delivered by 
Mr. Stirton, M.P.P., Judge Macdonald, the Mayor, and others, all of 
whom were favorable to the scheme. A committee was appointed to 
communicate with the Militia Department, and if the reply were satis 
factory, to take such steps as might be necessary to complete the various 
organizations contemplated. The scheme was favorably received by 
newspapers in all parts of the country, and to some extent it was adopted 
by the Government. 

At the meeting of the Town Council on December 3rd the Clerk 
read a report from Mr. James Armstrong, to the effect that he had taken 
the census of the Town, in accordance with a resolution of the Council, 
and that he found the number of the inhabitants of the North and East 
Wards to be 2577 ; in the South Ward 1630, and in the West Ward 1807, 
making a total of inhabitahts in the town of 6014 persons. 

It having become desirable, in consideration of the large amount of 
business coming before the Police Court, to which the Mayor could not 
be expected to give his attention, that a Police Magistrate should be 
appointed, several gentlemen s names were mentioned for the office, 
including Mr. T. W. Saunders, barrister, son of the Clerk of the Peace, 
Mr. W. S. G. Knowles, Mr. Geo. Elliott, Mr. E. Newton, and Mr. John 
Smith. The Council at a meeting in December, resolved to recommend 
Mr. Saunders for the position, and that gentleman soon afterwards 
received his appointment from the Government. 

Under the new municipal law, passed in 1866, Guelph became en 
titled to elect a Mayor, Reeve, and two Deputy Reeves, by a direct vote 
of the people. Previous to this there had been a Reeve and only one 
Deputy Reeve, who had been appointed by the Council, but now all were 
to be elected by the people. By this Act it was also provided that towns 
having less than five wards should elect three Councillors for each ward, 
and that one should retire each year in rotation. The anxiety on the 
part of some of the members of the Council, to secure nominations, was 
very great, and but for the influence of some of their better advised 
friends, several gentlemen would have been in the field, who, as it was, 
were induced to refrain from becoming candidates. For Mayor, Mr. 
Peter Gow was re-elected, and Mr. R. Melvin was elected Reeve, the 
Deputy Reeves being Mr. H. W. Peterson and Mr. R. Mitchell. The 
Council was composed of the following members : East Ward F. J. 
Chadwick, P. Me Curry and Trios. Sayers. West Ward F. Galbraith, 
Alex. Thomson and Jas. Massie. North Ward John Harvey, Jas. Mays 
and Dr. Herod. South Ward Wm. Day. Wm. Hockin and Thos. Hol- 
liday. Mr. Hockin at once resigned, and Mr. T. A. Heffernan was 
elected in his place. 

The County Council met January 22nd, the following members being 
present : Messrs. Beattie, Campbell, C. Clarke, J. Clarke, Connell, Cor- 
nock, Cross, Dobbin, Duffield, Garbutt, Gillespie, Hunter, Jull, Lander- 
kin, Leslie, Lingwood, Mair, Martin, Maudsley, Melvin, Mitchell, Murton, 
Peterson, Rae, Saunders, Small, Stevenson, Swan, and Wright. 

St. George s day of this year being the fortieth anniversary of the 
foundation of Guelph, the St. George s Society celebrated the occasion 
by a grand dinner, given in the Town Hall. Upwards of a hundred 
persons sat down, the dinner being provided by Mr. Thomas Ellis, of the 
American Hotel. Mr. W. S. G. Knowles, President of the Society, oc 
cupied the Chair, the vice-chairs being occupied by Dr. Herod and Mr. 
Holliday. On the right of the President were Mr. J. Hazelton, Presi- 



138 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

dent of the St. Patrick s Society, Messrs. Stirton, P. Gow and D. Allan, 
and on his left were Mr. James Gow, President of St. Andrew s Society, 
Dr. Parker and Mr. James Massie. After the usual loyal toasts, the 
President gave " The army and navy/ which was responded to by Lt.- 
Col. Higinbotham, and Captain Swinford ; " The day we celebrate/ was 
responded to in an eloquent speech by Mr. Holden. The Vice President 
then gave " The Dominion of Canada," to which Dr. Howitt responded ; 
"The Sister Societies/ which was spoken to by Mr. James Gow ; "The 
Legislative Assembly," to which Mr. Stirton, M.P.P., and Dr. Parker, M. 
P.P., responded. Other toasts followed and speeches were delivered by 
Mr. H. W. Peterson, Mr. J. Harris, Dr. Howitt, and others, the proceed 
ings being interspersed with songs by Mr.T. II. Taylor, Mr. P. Gow and 
Mr. Breadon. The celebration was in all respects an unqualified success 
and reflected great credit on the officers of St. George s Society. 

The members of the Congregational Church having for some time 
been making efforts to raise sufficient money to commence the building 
of a new church, in the spring of this year they found themselves in a 
position to proceed with the work, and on the i6th May, the corner stone 
of the new structure was laid by Rev. Adam Lillie, D. D., Professor of 
Theology in the Congregational College of British North America, 
among the ministers present, being Revs. R. Torrance, W. S. Ball, John 
Hogg, J. Carroll, Geo. Graftey and G. Wood, of Guelph, W. Barrie, of 
Eramosa, T. Pullard. of Hamilton, W. H. Allworth, of Paris and J. 
Wood, of Brantford. The Rev. W. F. Clarke, pastor of the church, in 
the course of an address in which he explained the progress of the work 
and the design of the new building, said the Estimated cost was $7000, 
towards which upwards of $3000 had been subscribed, in addition to 
which they expected to realize about $2000 from the sale of the old church 
property, so that, the lot on which the building was to be placed being 
unencumbered, they would not be more than $2000 in debt. He acknow 
ledged the obligations the committee were under to Mr. S. Boultand Mr. 
John Davidson, for generous contributions and practical suggestions, and 
to Mr. James Goldie, who in addition to large subscriptions, had pre 
sented the stone, from his quarry near the Peoples Mills, thus cheapen 
ing the cost of the masonry to the extent of at least $500 ; and to Mr. 
Chas. Raymond, for liberal contributipns towards the purchase of the 
site. In the bottle was placed a manuscript, containing a brief history 
of the church as follows :-- 

" On this loth day of May, in the year of our Lord, 1867, being the 
3Oth year of the reign of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, 
Lord Monet being Governor of British North America, the provinces 
whereof only await the Royal Proclamation to be confederated under 
the name and style of the Dominion of Canada, this corner-stone of an 
edifice to be used for the worship of Almighty God by a body of Christ 
ians known as the " Guelph Congregational Church," was laid in the 
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, by the 
Rev. Adam Lillie, D.D., Professor of Theology in the Congregational 
College of British North America. The Church was formed in the month 
of June, 1*825, and consisted at first of eight persons, one of whom sur 
vives and is still a member of the church. During the pastorate of the 
Rev. W. P. Wastell, the first church building was erected, being opened 
for divine worship, Feb. 5th, 1840. In this place of worship the church 
has continued to meet until now. The present pastor entered upon his 
duties the first Sabbath in July, 1860. At this date the membership of 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 139 



the church numbers 86. Its officers are : William Fletcher Clarke, Pas 
tor ; Richard Baker, Robt. Thompson, Edwin Newton, Samuel Hodg- 
skin, Robert J. Jeanneret, and Chas. Raymond. Deacons. The Trustees 
of the church property are : Thomas Hodgskin, Richard Baker, Samuel 
Hodgskin, Robt. Thompson and Edwin Newton. The building commit 
tee are : William Fletcher Clarke, Chairman ; Edwin Newton, Secretary 
Treasurer ; Richard Baker, R. Thompson, S. Hodgskin, C Raymond, R. 
J. Jeanneret, James Goldie, Thomas Lawrence, Alexander Thompson, 
Wm. McLaren, and John Davidson. The architect and superintendent 
is Stephen Boult. The contractors are : James Davidson, mason ; 
Stephen Boult, carpenter and builder ; Wm. Day, plasterer, and W. H. 
Jacomb, painter and glazier." The bottle also contained a copy of the 
HERALD, and other Guelph papers, the Toronto Globe, Leader, &c. 

The assessment rolls of the Town for 1867 showed the population to 
be : East Ward 1037, South Ward 1443, West Ward 1581, North Ward 
1296 total 5357. The value of real and personal property and amount 
of income was returned as follows : East Ward real property $279,830, 
personal do. $37,200, amount of taxable income $31,200, non-resident 
lands $4, 1 14; total $352,345. South Ward real property $215,052, per 
sonal property $4,000, income $27,600, non-resident lands $104.60 ; total 
$257,112. West Ward real property $369,853, personal do. $34,100, in 
come $51,800, non-resident lands $28,061 ; total $483,814. North Ward 
real property $352,017, personal do. $5,610, income $26,200, non-resident 
lands $4,620; total $439,727. Total real property in all the wards 
$1,216,752, total personal do. do. $132,200, total income do, $136,800, 
total non-resident land, $47,246; grand total $1,532,998, which showed 
the aggregate wealth of the town as shown by the Assessors. The total 
number of first class militia men was 344 ; 2nd class do. 542 ; 3rd class 
do. or reserve 226. The number of men liable for statute labor was 235. 
The whole number of cattle in the town was returned as 447, sheep 372, 
hogs 512, horses 329. 

On June 28th a disastrous fire occurred in the Liverpool Produce 
Store, Dundas street. The building, being entirely of wood, was totally 
destroyed, considerable delay having occurred in the arrival of the fire 
engines, and in the ringing of the alarm bell, so that when the men did 
arrive, the fire had nearly done its work. Both building and stock be 
longed to Messrs. Naughton & Gauhan, who estimated the aggregate 
value to be $14,000 on which there was an insurance for $12,500. In 
the following week a fire occurred at Newton s Hotel, near the Grand 
Trunk Freight Station, by which the hotel and several small houses ad 
joining were destroyed, the loss being about $3,000. 

The Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway Company having completed 
the arrangements for the building of the road, from Guelph northwards, 
the first sod of the new railway was turned at Fergus,- June 28th, by Mr. 
Adam Brown, of Hamilton, President of the company, in the presence 
of a large number of spectators from all parts of the country. Speeches 
were delivered by the President, and by Messrs. McGiverin and White, 
of Hamilton, and Dr. Parker, of Guelph, Directors of the road. 

The scheme of Canadian Confederation having been brought to a suc 
cessful issue, and the plan of government consequently greatly changed, 
the elections which ensued excited far more interest in all parts of the 
country than had been the case for many years. In the County of Wel 
lington additional interest was given to the elections on account of a 
change in the representation which had taken place in accordance with 



140 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

a bill introduced by the Government, and passed in July, 1 866, for the 
re-distribution of seats,one of the provisions of which was that the County 
of Wellington should be divided into three ridings, instead of two, as 
heretofore. The following were the divisions, with the population of 
each township : North Riding Amaranth, 1,196; Arthur, 3,597 ; Luther, 
689; Minto, 2,341; Maryborough, 3,134; Peel, 5,008; total, 15,965, 
South Riding Guelph, township, 3,088 ; Guelph, town, 5,076 ; Puslinch, 
4,701 ; total, 12,865. Centre Riding Elora Village, 1,043 5 Eramosa, 
3,604; Erin, 4,948; Fergus village, 1,117; Garafraxa, 4,866; Nichol, 
2,395 5 Pilkington, 2,397 ; total, 20,370. 

In the South Riding the candidates were : For the House of Com 
mons, Mr. David Stinton and Mr. F. W. Stone ; and for the Legislature 
of Ontario, Messrs. Peter Gow and Wm. Leslie. Mr. Stone being then 
in England, his friends labored at considerable disadvantage in conse 
quence of his absence, and there can be no doubt that had he been here 
to address the electors, if he had not been elected, the majority of Mr. 
Stirton would have been much smaller than it was. Under the circum 
stances, however, a good run was made, proving that Mr. Stone was not 
only popular in the riding, but that a large number of the electors were 
prepared to make considerable sacrifices, as many of them did, to en 
sure his election. The contest for the Legislature was more closely con 
tested, and the defeat of Mr. Leslie was not only a disappointment, but 
somewhat of a surprise to his friends. Mr. Leslie had 225 names of 
Puslinch electors on his requisition, and as a number of others subse 
quently pledged themselves to vote for him, he was of opinion that he 
would poll as many votes in Puslinch as Mr. Gow, but the returns 
showed that he only polled 171 votes in that Township. He was se 
lected one of the Union candidates on account of his supposed strength 
in Puslinch, but the returns showed that he polled nearly double the 
number of votes in the Town of Guelph that he polled in Puslinch, and 
that Guelph Township also gave him a larger majority than Puslinch did. 

The nomination of candidates for the North Riding took place at 
Arthur, September 6th. Quite a number of prominent politicians were 
present from the adjacent townships, and especially from the villages of 
Mount Forest, Fergus, Elora and Salem. A substantial platform had 
been erected on the grounds opposite O Callaghan s Hotel, in front of 
which the electors assembled to the number of 500. The Brownites of 
Mount Forest mustered in strong force, together with a select assortment 
from distant portions of the North and upper sections of the Centre 
Riding. With the exception of a few personal friends of Messrs. Drew 
and Beattie, the Unionists were nearly all from Arthur township and vil 
lage, and the adjoining parts of Minto, Amaranth, Luther, Peel and Mary- 
boro ? . The assembly had a most respectable appearance throughout, 
and the best of order was observed during the entire proceedings. Mr. 
Geo. A. Drew, Elora, was nominated as a candidate for the Commons, 
by Dr. Tuck of Drayton, and seconded by Mr. Peter Kean, of Minto. 
Hon. M. H. Foley was nominated by Mr. Samuel Robertson, and sec 
onded by Mr. D. Yeomans, of Mount Forest. In the Legislature, Mr. 
John Beattie was nominated by Dr. Maudslay, of Hollin, and seconded 
by Mr. C. O Callaghan. Mr. Robert McKim, of Peel, was nominated by 
Mr. R. Stevenson, and seconded by Mr. Wm. Sturtridge. The result 
was that Mr. Drew was elected for the Commons by a vote of 1486 to 
1269, showing a majority of 217. For the Legislature Mr. McKim was 
elected by a majority of 71. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 141 

In the Centre Riding the nomination took place at Fergus. Two can 
didates were nominated, Dr. Parker, of Guelph, and Mr. John Dobbin, 
but the latter gentleman declining to go to the poll, Dr. Parker was de 
clared duly elected. For the Legislative Assembly, Mr. A. D. Ferrier was 
proposed by Mr. Jas. Reynolds, of Pilkington, seconded by Mr. Geo. A. 
Lacey, of Hillsburg. Mr. James Loughrin was proposed by Mr. A. Hood, 
and duly seconded. Mr. T. S. Armstrong was nominated by Mr. R. 
Taylor, of Elora, and seconded by Mr. Robert Black, of Garafraxa. At 
the close of the poll to vote stood Ferrier, 1083 ; Armstrong, 1025, and 
Loughrin, 338. Mr. Ferrier was therefore declared elected. 

A fire, which at one time threatened to be of a most serious nature, 
occurred on September i8th, in the hosiery works of McCrae, Arm 
strong & Co. It originated in the second story of the building in the 
packing room, and soon spread to the other apartments, running through 
the carding and other rooms with great rapidity, but by the exertions of 
the workmen, assisted by a large number of the neighbors, the fire was 
extinguished in about half an hour, but the damage was very heavy, 
probably reaching to $3,000, which, however, was fully covered by insur 
ance. The next morning a fire occurred in the carriage works of Mr. 
Wm. Dyson, but fortunately the building was isolated and the weather 
calm, or the damage might have been much greater than it was. The 
loss was heavy, as besides the building, a large number of finished bug 
gies, and vehicles of various kinds in course of construction, were de 
stroyed, the loss amounting to about $4,000. There was no insurance. 

During November a young man named Foster, living near Sleeman s 
brewery, was married, and on the night of the 25th, a large party of 
roughs living in the South Ward assembled for the third time, to treat 
him to charivari. The night being very dark, favored their designs, and 
for nearly an hour they alarmed the neighborhood with their unearthly 
noises ringing bells, beating drums, tin cans, boilers and kettles, dis 
charging guns and pistols, shrieking, singing, cursing, whistling, groaning, 
throwing dirt, stones and sticks, blowing horns and trumpets, and per 
forming all other insane tricks usually accompanying a charivari. Sud 
denly a head was protruded through a window, and a gun discharged into 
the crowd. With a loud cry, a lad about 15 years of age named Thos. 
Chamberlain, fell down, and as the noise instantly ceased, a number of 
the party bore him away to a dwelling house near by, where Dr. Orton, 
jr., attended him, but notwithstanding that all was done which medical 
skill could devise, he died in a few days. At the inquest, which was held 
by Dr. Howitt, evidence was given that the gun was fired by Joseph 
Foster, father of the newly married man, under circumstances of great 
provocation, his wife being dangerously ill, at the time, and suffering 
from the effects of the excitement caused by the pandemonium outside. 
There was no reason to believe that he intended to seriously hurt any 
body, and after carefully considering all the circumstances the jury 
brought in a verdict tantamount to one of justifiable homicide, at the 
same time properly recommending that the parties engaged in creating 
the disturbance on the night of the shooting should be rigorously prose 
cuted. 

The candidates for the Mayoralty in 1868, were Mr. N. Higinbotham 
and Mr. John Harris, the former being elected by a small majority. In 
accordance with the Municipal Act of 1866 the following members of the 
Council retired : East Ward Mr. Thomas Sayers. West Ward Mr. 
F. W. Galbraith. North Ward Mr. John Harvey. South Ward Mr. 



142 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

T. Heffernan. The Council consisted of the following members : 
Mayor Mr. Higinbotham. Reeve Mr. R. Melvin. Deputy Reeves 
Mr. H. W. Peterson and R. Mitchell. Councillors:- East Ward 
Messrs. F. J. Chadwick, Thos. Sayers, and P. McCurry. West Ward 
Messrs. James Massie, Alex. Thomson and Geo. Howard. Southward 
-Messrs. Wm. Day, Thos. Holliday and T. Heffernan. North Ward 
Messrs. John Harvey, James Mays, and Dr. Herod. In March, Mr. 
Peterson resigned his position as Deputy Reeve, and Mr. James Massie 
was elected, Mr. C. Buckland being elected for the vacancy in the re 
presentation for the North Ward caused by Mr. Massie s election as 
Deputy Reeve. 

The County Council consisted of the following members: Messrs. 
Boyd, Broadfoot, Campbell, Cassin, Cornell, Cornock, Dobbin, Duffield, 
Gillespie, Gordon, Hunter, Johnston, Jull, Mair, Melvin, Mitchell, Mc- 
Innes, McMillan, Passmore, Peterson, Rea, Robertson, Saunders, Small, 
Stirton, Swan, Whitelaw, McManus, Cross, Sutherland. By the retire 
ment of Mr. Peterson in March, a vacancy was created, which was filled 
by the election of Mr. Massie. Mr. S. Robertson, Deputy Reeve of 
Maryboro , also retired, and Mr. A. Maxwell was elected in his place. 
Mr. Small, of Arthur, died in April, and Mr. R. Stevenson was elected to 
fill the vacancy. 

In April the country was called upon to mourn the death of Hon. 
Thomas D Arcy McGee, and in common with other towns and cities, 
Guelph gave expression to the feelings of sorrow at the loss the country 
had sustained, and sympathy with the bereaved relatives of the hor. 
gentleman. A public meeting was held in the Town Hall, where appro 
priate resolutions were passed, and eloquent adresses clelivered by several 
prominent citizens, among whom were Rev. Arthur Palmer, Dr. Clarke, 
Mr. W. S. G. Knowles, Rev. W. F. Clarke, Mr. J. Harris, Mr. A. A. 
Baker, Mr. Melvin and Mr. G. Palmer, some of whom had known Mr. 
McGee, and all of whom expressed the abhorrence which was universal 
ly felt of the foul crime of murder, by which Mr. McGee had fallen. The 
resolutions were ordered to be engrossed and forwarded to Mr. McGee s 
widow. 

The assassination of Mr. McGee, with the news of hostile preparations 
going forward on the other side of the lines, created a state of intense 
anxiety and alarm throughout the Dominion, and there can be no doubt 
that in many cases measures were resorted to for the detection and pun 
ishment of supposed Fenians, which at a more peaceful time would have 
been looked upon with disfavor, and met with a firm condemnation on 
the part of the people generally. So was it in Guelph. For a long time 
the existence of a small band of Fenians had been suspected, and some 
persons contended that there was a regularly orgcinized circle in this 
vicinity, and that Fenian leaders were in the habit of coming to the 
neighborhood in disguise, and to some extent making Guelph a centre of 
operations. Some weeks previously a number of cases of second hand 
guns, rifles, &c., had been sold in Guelph, and it was suspected that the 
Fenian sympathizers had purchased them. Thinking there was suffi 
cient evidence in their hands on which to act, warrants were placed in 
the hands of Chief Constable Kelly for the arrest of certain individuals 
in Guelph, and in one day three arrests were made, a Puslinch farmer, 
and two men in Guelph, all of whom were lodged in jail. It was said that 
documents were found upon these men clearly proving their connection 
with the B-otherhood, but though the prisoners we - e detained in close 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 143 

confinement for a considerable time, nothing definite could be laid to 
their charge, and they were consequently released. The excitement, 
however, was not by any means abated, for the Fenians were known to 
be making preparations for an invasion, and towards the end of May, 
Lieut.-Col. Higinbotham received a letter requesting him to have his bat 
talion ready to take the field at any instant, as it was not known when 
they might be required to meet the foe. The Guelph companies received 
the news on the Queen s birthday with loud cheers, and instructions were 
sent by telegraph to Elora, Fergus, and Mount Forest for the men to set 
tle up their business and make ready for an immediate march on the 
frontier, and arrangements were made by which 500 men could be mar 
shalled in Guelph at 48 hours notice. A few days afterwards orders were 
received that the 3Oth Battalion should be attached to the Flying Squad 
ron, and the men were kept under arms for some weeks, but were not 
required for active service. 

In May a new fire engine, which had been ordered by the Town Coun 
cil from the Silsby factory, was received in town, at the trial at Presant s 
mill and Allan s distillery, gave unqualified satisfaction. The total cost, 
including hose, reels, &c., was $5,638.68. 

On one or two occasions the merchants of Guelph had endeavored to 
make an arrangement by which to rid themselves of the American silver 
nuisance, but without avail. In July of this year another attempt was 
made, in conjunction with the merchants of -Toronto, Hamilton and other 
places, by forming a league, the members of which should be liable to a 
fine os $50 if they received American silver except at a discount of 4 
per cent, on silver coins above the denomination of 25 cents, and 10 per 
cent, on coins under that denomination. A meeting of the merchants 
was held, and a compact to the above effect was signed by most of the 
merchants in town, and for a time it was rigidly adhered to, but gradu 
ally the arrangement became a dead letter. 

For some months past an unhappy division had existed among the 
members and congregation of Knox s Church, and the Presbytery had to 
be called upon to adjudicate on the matter, but as some of the adherents 
were still disaffected, it finally became evident that the breach was 
such as to be almost beyond the hope of healing, and a Committee of the 
Presbytery was therefore appointed to organize those who wished to se 
cede into a separate congregation. On July 27th, therefore, the commit 
tee met at the Court House, Rev. Mr. Middlemiss, of Elora, convener, 
and a large deputation of church members being present. Certificates 
from Rev. W. S. Ball in favor of r 14 members in good standing with 
drawing from Knox Church were presented, and being found sufficient,^ 
communion roll was made up, and the congregation of Chalmers Church 
was declared to be constituted. A Board of Managers to act pro teni. 
was then appointed, consisting of ten gentlemen lately managers of 
Knox s Church, and Mr. D. Stirton, M. P., and Mr. Jas. Gow, after 
which arrangements were made for a regular supply for the pulpit. 

On Monday, Oct. i9th, the ceremony of laying the foundation stone 
of the new Knox s Church, on Ouebec street, was performed by Rev. Dr. 
Ormiston ; the pastor, Rev. W. S. Ball, Revs. Messrs. Griffin, Wood, 
Clarke and Torrance, of Guelph, and a number of the Presbytery from 
Gait and other places taking part in the service. 

On Sunday, Oct. iSth, Dr. Parker, M. P. for Centre Wellington 
having received a professional call to visit a sick child at Rockwood, pro 
ceeded there, intending to remain all night, but finding that his services 



144 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

could be of no avail, at about 10 o clock he started to walk to Guelph, 
taking the road, in order, as he said, to avoid the danger of falling through 
a bridge on the track near Rockwood, where two men had already been 
killed. Finding the road very muddy, he altered his determination, and 
took the railway, walking cautiously, as the night was very dark. Before 
he was aware of it, however, he had arrived at the fatal bridge, which was 
spanned only by beams to support the rails, and plunged through to the road 
beneath, where he lay, unable to move till the next morning. When he was 
discovered medical aid was at once procured, and Dr. Howitt and Lieut.- 
Col. Higinbotham brought him to Guelph, when it was found that he 
had sustained a fracture of the thigh and serious internal injuries. He 
lingered, mostly in an unconscious state, until the following Saturday, 
when he died. Among those present at the funeral were Archdeacon 
Brough, the deceased s father-in-law, Mayor Clarke, of Hamilton, Mr. 
C. Magill, M. P., Mr. J. Young, M. P., Mr. Macfarlane, M. P., a number 
of Ministers, and several of the prominent electors of the Centre Rid 
ing. The pall-bearers were Lieut.-Col. Higinbotham, Judge Macdonald, 
Dr. Herod, Mr. Geo. Elliott, Mr. E. McGiverin, and Mr. Adam Brown, 
of Hamilton,. Rev. Mr. Geddes, of Hamilton, assisted by Rev. Dr. Al 
exander, officiated. 

The candidates for the Mayoralty in 1869 were Dr. Herod and Mr. 
Melvin, the former gentleman being elected by a good majority. For 
Reeve, Mr. Richard Mitchell was elected, and for Deputy Reeves, 
Messrs. P. McCurrie and J. Goldie. The members of the Council were : 
East Ward Messrs. F. J. Chadwick, T. Sayers and W. Allan. West 
Ward Messrs. G. Bruce, G. Howard and -and A. Thomson. North 
Ward Messrs. John Harvey, J. A. Wood and A. Robertson. South 
Ward Messrs. W. Day, J. Holliday and T. Heffernan. 

The members of the County Council were : Guelph Town, Richard 
Mitchell, James Goldie and P. McCurry. Guelph Township, W. White- 
law, George Darby. Puslinch, Wm. Leslie, M. Spreuhan. Eramosa, 
John Duffield, John Rae. Erin, D. McMillan, Ed. Johnson. Garafraxa 
West, John Dobbin. Garafraxa East, W. H. Hunter. Fergus George 
Mclnnes. Elora, J. M. Frazer. Pilkington, W. Clarke, Hugh Roberts. 
Nichol, John Mair, John Broadfoot. Peel, J. Cross, W. S. Sutherland 
and J. McManus. Maryboro, S. Robertson, J. Landerkin. Minto, Jas. 
Connell, John Prain ; Arthur, R. Stevenson, R. Gordon. Mount Forest, 
Thomas Swann, Luther, D. Saunders. Amaranth, C. Gillespie. Orange- 
ville, T. Jull. Mr. John Mair was elected Warden. 

The election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Dr. Parker, 
M. P., for Centre Wellington, was held Jan. i8th. Several candidates 
had been named, among whom were Hon. George Brown, Hon. H. M. 
Foley, Mr. A. McKellar, Mr. T. White, of the Hamilton Spectator, Mr. 
James Ross, Mr. John Smith, Warden. Mr. C. Clarke, Mr. James Logh- 
rin, Dr. Howitt, Mr. H. H. Swinford, Lieut.-Col. Higinbotham and 
Mr. Geo. Elliott. Mr. Ross, of Cumnock, was the only one who ac 
cepted a nomination, and was elected by acclamation, thus leaving vacant 
the office of Crown Lands Agent, which was worth from $1,000 to $1,200 
per annum. 

On February 6th, the Town sustained another severe loss by the 
death of Mr. James Webster, Registrar of the County, at the age of 61. 
Emigrating to Canada in 1833,116 settled in the township of Nichol, 
where, in partnership with Hon. Adam Fergusson, he purchased a tract 
of land, founded the village of Fergus, and remained there until 1852, 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 145 

when he removed to Guelph. In all the political movements of his day 
he took an active part and sat in Parliament as representative of the then 
District of Waterloo in 1844. In 1859 he was appointed Registrar of the 
County of Wellington, which office he retained till his death. In the 
same year he also held the position of Mayor of Guelph. For two or 
three years his health had been so impaired that he was unable to take 
any active part in public matters, but he never ceased to evince a deep 
interest in all questions having for their object the improvement of the 
Town and County. On the day of the funeral the stores were closed 
for an hour, and a large number of citizens joined the mounful cortege. 
The pall bearers were Col. Hewat. Col. Saunders, Mr. Geo. Davidson, 
Sheriff of Waterloo, Mr. J. L. Smith, Toronto, Mr. G. D. Fergusson, 
Fergus, Mr. Chas. Davidson, Guelph, Judge Macdonald, Guelph, Mr. D. 
Chalmers, Woolwich, Mr. David Allan, Mr. Wm. Alexander, Guelph, 
and Mr. A. W. Scheweigener, Berlin. Mr. James Webster, son of the 
deceased, was soon afterwards appointed to the vacant office. 

In April Mr. John Harvey resigned his seat in the Council for the 
North Ward, and Mr. Robert Mitchell was elected in his place. 

Except the unusual activity in the building trade, nothing of any 
moment occurred in the Town for some months, so that the recurrence of 
the time for the municipal elections was a relief to the " flat, stale and 
unprofitable" state of things which had rendered the people listless with 
regard to everything except business. Up to within a short time of the 
nomination, it had been thought that Dr. Herod would be elected to the 
Mayoralty for 1870 without opposition, but at the last moment Mr. James 
Barclay was brought out and a very close contest was the result, Dr. Her 
od being elected by a majority of only twelve. For the Reeveship, the 
contest was more exciting, two candidates being brought out in good time 
and the canvassing prosecuted vigorously on both sides, the vote at the 
close giving Mr. Richard Mitchell a majority of eight over Mr. James 
Goldie. The candidates for the Deputy Reeveships were Messrs. F. J. 
Chadwick, Henry Hatch, James Goldie, and C. Buckland, the votes be 
ing Hatch 424, Chadwick 415, Goldie 344, and Buckland 118, the two 
former being elected. There was a contest for a Councillorship in two 
wards. In the East Ward, Mr. David McCrae polled 94 votes, against 
68 for Mr. John Stewart, and in the West Ward, Mr. J. /McNeil polled 
147 vote against Mr. Buckland s 74. The members of the Council were, 
therefore : East Ward Messrs. T. Sayers, W. Allan and D. McCrae. 
West Ward Messrs. G. Howard, G. Bruce and J. McNeil. North 
Ward Messrs. J. A. Wood, A. Robertson and Robt. Mitchell. South 
Ward Messrs. T. Heffernan, W. Day and T. Holliday. 

The members of the County Council for 1870, were: Messrs. Chas. 
Gillespie, Robert Gordon, Anthony Buschlen, J. M. Frazer, John Rea, 
Alex. McQueen, D. McMillan, E. Johnson, G. T. Orton, John Dobbin, 
Wm. Gibson, Wm. H. Hunter, Thos. Hamilton, James Laidlaw, G. A. 
Darby, Rich. Mitchell, F. J. Chadwick, H. Hatch, Peter Hanson, Robt. 
Hay, Wm. H. Lowes, James Connell, John Prain, John Robinson, John 
Mair, John H. Broadfoot, M. McCarthy, James Cross, W. S. Sutherland, 
T. McManus, Wm. Clark, Hugh Roberts, Wm. Leslie, Wm. Nicol. Mr. 
John Mair was elected Warden. 

For some time there had been much opposition shown by interested 
parties to the building of the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway, this 
being one of the causes which had led to the delay which had occurred 
in prosecuting the work. To overcome the evil effects of this opposition 



146 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

a delegation from Hamilton, comprising the Mayor, the President of the 
Company, and others, with Messrs. C. Davidson, J. Massie, H. Hatch 
and Lt.-Col. Higinbotham, as delegates from Guelph, in March proceeded 
to Harriston, where they were met by the following representatives of the 
townships which had granted bonuses to the road : Mr. Cornell, Reeve, 
and Mr. Prain, Deputy Reeve, with Messrs. Dalmage and Hughes, 
Councillors of Minto ; Mr. Perkins, Reeve and Mr. Weir, Deputy Reeve 
of Howick ; Mr. Hay, Reeve, Mr. Lowes, Deputy Reeve, and Mr. Pater- 
son, Councillor of Maryboro ; Mr. Cross, Reeve and Mr. Brown, Coun 
cillor of Peel, with several other gentlemen interested, besides about 
three hundred ratepayers from the various township. Mr. Adam Brown 
gave a brief outline of the history of the Company, and a statement ot 
the unforeseen difficulties which had arisen in prosecuting the work, in 
consequence of which they were unable to complete the road at the time 
stated when the bonuses were granted, and he therefore asked an exten 
sion of time of one year from Maryboro , Minto and Howick. Mr. Brown 
was very clear and candid in his remarks, and was listened to with much 
attention. He was followed by Aid. Edgar, Messrs A. Sproat, M. P., N. 
Bullock, D. D. Hay, and others, who spoke in favor of the extension, and 
it was finally moved by Mr. J. Laing, and seconded by Mr. Wm. Crea- 
sor, that the meeting had the fullest confidence in the Railway Company, 
and that it would be for the interests of the townships that the extension 
of time be granted. At a subsequent meeting of the Reeves and Coun 
cillors of the townships, it was resolved to endeavor to carry by-laws for 
the object sought, which was afterwards successfully carried out, and the 
withdrawing of the bonuses, which the opponents, of the road were anxi 
ous to bring about, was prevented. 

From the assessment roll for the year it appears that the population 
of the town was 6424. Total value of real property, $1,214,200. Total 
value of personal property and taxable income, $240,460. Aggregate 
total value of all property, $1,403,665. 

The Grand Trunk Railway Company having decided to remove their 
workshops from Toronto, a proposal was made to ask Mr. Brydges to 
locate the workshops in Guelph, and a public meeting to consider the 
matter was called by the Board of Trade. Mr. George Murton, Presi 
dent of the Board, took the chair, and addresses were delivered by 
Messrs. John Hogg, F. J. Chadwick, W. Wilkie, W. S. G. Knowles, H. 
W. Peterson, and others, when it was resolved : "That the Mayor be 
requested to call a special meeting of the Council, to take into considera 
tion the propriety of offering suitable ground for the workshops of the 
Grand Trunk Railway, as a gift, and to exempt them from taxation for a 
term of years, and, in addition, to offer a bonus of at least $10,000." The 
special meeting of the Council was accordingly held, and a communica 
tion sent to Mr. Brydges, to which a reply was received that he could not 
entertain the offer, as the situation of the town was not suitable for the 
object sought. 

On the 23rd July, the hand of death deprived the town of one of its 
brightest ornaments, in the person of Mr. George Pirie, editor and pro 
prietor of the HERALD. For twenty-two years he had labored, through 
the columns of his paper, and in numberless ways as a private citizen, to 
promote the best interests of the town and neighborhood, and up to 
within three weeks of his death he continued to give to his readers the 
results of his ripe experience and brilliant intellect. He had been, for 
many years, a sufferer from asthma, and was periodically subject to 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 147 

distressing attacks of this complaint, and it was long a matter of wonder 
how he bore up so well under his affliction. In the previous November, 
he was laid aside by a severe illness, and then old age and the breaking 
down of a naturally good constitution, began plainly to tell upon him, 
and though still able to discharge his duties, up to within a short time of 
his death, it was evident that the strong man was gradually but surely 
sinking. Mr. Pirie, at the time of his death, was upwards of 71 years of 
age, having been born in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, on February 
28th, 1798. He received a very liberal education in his native city, and 
also in London, where he was afterwards apprenticed to a relative, Sir 
John Pirie, an eminent merchant, and at one time Lord Mayor of Lon 
don. In 1 8 1 8 he came to Montreal, where he lived some time, acting as 
agent for his father, who was a leading merchant and shop owner of 
Aberdeen. Not long after he visited Scotland, but returned in 1819. 
On the voyage out, he, in company with some other passengers, visited 
the island of Anticosti, where he was for some time exposed to a thick, 
damp fog, by which he contracted a severe cold, which resulted in chro 
nic asthma, from which he continued to suffer, more or less, during the 
remainder of his life. After remaining two years in Montreal, he again 
returned to Scotland, and in company with a Mr. Saunders, commenced 
business in Aberdeen as a wholesale dry goods merchant. He was 
obliged, however, from infirm health, to give it up in 1834, and in 1838, 
came out again to Canada and settled in the township of Nichol, where 
he bought a farm in the Bon Accord settlement. He continued farming 
until 1848, when rinding he was unable to perform the arduous duties of 
a farmer, he was induced by Mr. James Webster to purchase the Guelph 
HERALD, then only in the second year of its publication. From the first 
day of his management, the HERALD was a staunch Conservative paper, 
maintaining the position of the leading organ of that party in this part 
of the country. Mr. Pirie was an able, accurate and spirited writer. 
Thoroughly acquainted with the political history of the country, and of 
the characters of its public men, he brought his knowledge and experi 
ence to bear with singular effect on every subject under discussion. En 
dowed with an acute intellect, and being a thorough master of a clear, 
incisive style, aided by a keen and often sarcastic wit, he was a formi 
dable opponent in a discussion, and not seldom came out of these en 
counters victorious. Having once expoused a cause, he held to it with 
great tenacity, but when a fight was over and a truce proclaimed he 
retained no resentment, nor were his private friendships or relations 
broken up in consequence. When he expoused a cause, he did it on 
conscientious grounds, because he believed he was right, and frequently 
was he known to sacrifice his own interests in advocating what he consi 
dered was for the public good. But not only as a public writer and 
journalist was his loss greatly felt. Prominent and honorable as was his 
position in his profession, he was equally useful as a public spirited 
citizen, whose time, talents and means were always at the disposal of his 
fellow townsmen. He was for twenty years a member of the Guelph 
School Board, acting either as a Grammar or Common School Trustee, 
and if there was one thing more than another which lay near his heart, 
it was the educational interests of the town. As a magistrate he was one 
of the brightest ornaments of the bench, and so enthusiastic was his 
patriotism, that at the time of the " Trent " affair, though then a feeble 
old man, he gallantly joined the Scottish company formed in the town at 
that time, and drilled night after night, to be able to take his place among 



148 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

his country s defenders. For twenty-one years he was the indefatigable 
secretary of the St. Andrew s Society, and to many other charitable 
organizations his energies were freely given. The funeral was one of the 
most mournful sights ever seen in Guelph, nearly all the inhabitants 
wearing crape, and a very large number joining in the procession to pay 
the last tribute of respect to one whom all honored, whatever their dif 
ferences of opinion may have been. The pall-bearers were : Messrs. 
David Stirton, M.P., P. Gow, M.P.P., James Gow, James Fergusson, 
John A. Davidson, G. B. Fraser and James Innes. 

At a meeting of influential merchants and others held on July 27th, a 
company was organized under the title of the Guelph Gas Company, and 
Messrs. F. J. Chadwick, Richard Mitchell and N. Higinbotham were ap 
pointed a committee to canvass the town in order to obtain subscrip 
tions of citizens and capitalists to the company s stock list. The sum of 
$4,000 was subscribed at the meeting, which, with the sum taken by Mr. 
Perry, the projector of the company, made $10,000 taken up. For $16,- 
ooo Mr. Perry offered to purchase a site and erect a stone building 80 
feet by 40 and 16 feet high, and to provide all that was necessary to make 
20,000 feet of gas in 24 hours ; also to buy the necessary pipes, metres, 
&c., for 100 consumers, and main pipes running from the gas works up 
Wyndham street, as far as Suffolk street, thence across to St. Andrew s 
Church, up Quebec and Paisley street, to Dublin street along Macdon- 
nell street to Allan s bridge, up Woolwich street to the Court House, 
around the Market Square from Wyndham street, up Church street to 
Norfolk street. Shortly afterwards the company was fully organized, 
with a capital of $30,000, in 1,500 shares, at $20 each, the term of the 
company s existence to be fifty years. The Directors chosen for the first 
year were Messrs. F. J. Chadwick, N. Higinbotham, James Massie, 
Richard Mitchell, Donald Guthrie, J. C. McLagan and John Hogg. Mr. 
Perry, the proprietor of the undertaking, was chosen manager, and it was 
expected to have gas burning by the ist of November. Gas was not 
used, however, till January 1 8th, 1871. 

On September i3th the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway was 
opened as far as Fergus, when addresses were presented on the occasion 
to Mr. Adam Brown and the other Directors, by Mr. J. M. Fraser, Reeve 
of Elora, and Dr. Orton, Reeve of Fergus, on behalf of those municipal 
ities. 

The great want of house accommodation, especially of such descrip 
tions as would be suitable for mechanics, having long been felt, a public 
meeting was called to consider the question, the result being that a state 
ment was drawn up as follows : " We, the undersigned, are willing to 
erect, during the fall, dwelling houses containing four rooms each, pro 
vided the mechanics will undertake the work at reasonable terms." 
Donald Guthrie, Chas. Davidson, F. J. Chadwick, N. Higinbotham, J. 
C. Me Lagan. In pursuance of this agreement a considerable number of 
houses of the description named, were erected during the fall and winter. 

The municipal elections for 1871 were attended with an unusual de 
gree of excitement and interest. Mr. Richard Mitchell was elected 
Mayor without opposition. For Reeve the candidates were Messrs. Jas. 
Massie and F. J. Chadwick, the former gentleman being successful. The 
Deputy Reeves were Mr. George Howard and Mr. N. Higinbotham. 
The members of the Council were : East Ward Messrs. D. McCrae, 
W. Allan and J. Stewart. West Ward Messrs. J. McNeil, G. A. Bruce 
and H. Hatch. South Ward Messrs. D. Kennedy, T. Holliday and 



T 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 149 

HefTernan. North Ward Messrs. A. Robertson, R. Mitchell and Chas. 
Walker. 

The members of the County Council for this year were : Amaranth, 
C. Gillespie ; Arthur, Robt. Gordon, Anthony Bushlen ; Elora, J. M. 
Fraser ; Eramosa, John Rea, Alex. McQueen ; Erin, D. McMillan, Chas. 
McMillan; Fergus, G. T. Orton, M.D. ; Garafraxa East, W. H. Hunter, 
Thos. Hamilton; Garafraxa West, John Dobbin, Stephen Piper; Guelph 
T p, Jas. Laidlaw, Geo. Darby ; Guelph Town, Jas. Massie, N. Higin- 
botham, Geo. Howard; Luther, P. Hanson; Maryboro, J. D.Johnson, 
W. H. Lowes ; Minto, John Council, John Prain ; Mount Forest, John 
Robinson ; Nichol, John Mair, John Broadfoot ; Orangeville, M. Mc 
Carthy ; Peel, W. S. Sutherland, Thos. McManus, Thos. Rose ; Pilking- 
ton, Hugh Roberts, Donald Wallace ; Puslinch, Wm. Leslie, Wm. 
Nichol. Mr. Mair was elected Warden. Mr. A. D. Ferrier, M.P.P., 
Clerk of the Council, who had filled the office for twenty-two years, now 
resigned that position, when an address accompanied with a handsome 
piece of plate, was presented to him by the Council. Mr. John Beattie, 
of Fergus, was then appointed clerk. 

For some years attempts had been made to induce the Directors of 
the Provincial Exhibition to hold it in Guelph, but without success, and 
now it was proposed to establish a Central Exhibition, for which it would 
be necessary to purchase a piece of land, and a committee of the County 
Council was appointed to consider the matter. They now recommended 
the purchase of a portion of the Catholic glebe, containing 35 acres, at a 
cost not to exceed $5,000, on easy terms, which they specified. The 
report was adopted and the Warden and County Solicitor instructed to 
carry out the provisions named. 

The Ontario Legislature, having existed four years, was dissolved in 
February, and in March the general election took place. In the South 
Riding of Wellington Mr. P. Gow was returned without opposition. In 
the North Riding Mr. McKim was re-elected, defeating Mr. John Cross. 
In the Centre Riding Mr. A. D. P^errier, the late member, did not run, 
and the contest was between Mr. Alexander McLaren and Mr. Charles 
Clarke, the latter being elected. The general result of the election was 
that the Conservative party had a majority in the House of 44 to 37. 

On Tuesday, May 23rd, the event so long hoped for by the congrega 
tion of St. George s Church, the laying of the corner stone of the new 
church, took place. A special and largely attended service was 
held in the old church, after which the children of the Sunday- 
School, followed by the members of the congregation, the building 
committee and the clergy present, including Revs. Messrs. Geddes, 
Hamilton ; Boomer, Gait; Cooper, Fergus, and others, formed a proces 
sion and proceeded to the site of the new building. After the stone had 
been prepared, Mr. George Elliott deposited in the cavity a sealed can- 
nister, containing a statement of the history of the church, the names of 
the building committee Archdeacon Palmer, Messrs. Wm. Reynolds, 
T. W. Saunders, George Elliott and Judge Macdonald. The cost of 
this building, as stated, was to be $29,998.60. The following papers were 
also deposited in the canister: Guelph HERALD, Advertiser, Mercury , 
Toronto Globe, Leader, Church Herald and Canadian Almanac. The 
stone was then laid with the usual ceremonies by Rev. Archdeacon Pal 
mer. 

The efforts of a number of the leading agriculturists of the county 
together with several of the prominent citizens of Guelph, to establish a. 



150 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

Central Exhibition, having been successful, and liberal grants having 
been made by the Town and County, the necessary preparations were 
completed, and the show fixed to be held on October loth, nth and i2th. 
The amount offered in prizes was $8000, a larger amount, by several 
thousand dollars, than was ever offered at any similar exhibition in Ca 
nada. As the preparations advanced, it was found that the buildings 
provided would be insufficient to accommodate all the cattle and goods 
entered for competition, and a number of additional buildings were 
erected. There were nearly 7000 entries from all parts of the Province, 
and in all respects the show was beyond the most sanguine expectations. 
On the first day the attendance was good, and on the second day the 
number of persons on the ground was about 15,000, the number being 
still larger on the third day. During the third day, Mr. James Ander 
son, of Puslinch, President of the Central Exhibition, delivered a practi 
cal and eloquent address, on the advantages to be derived from such 
exhibitions, and the mutual benefits to be realized by farmers and manu 
facturers in thus meeting in friendly competition. Speeches were also 
delivered by Mr. D. Stirton, M.P., Mr. John Mair, Warden of the County 
and Mr. R. Mitchell, Mayor of Guelph. During the Exhibition week 
the Guelph HERALD was issued daily. 

In December the HERALD, which had been conducted since the 
death of Mr. Pirie, under the management of his widow, passed into the 
hands of Cbadwick & Co., who, in their salutatory, announced their in 
tention of issuing the paper daily, and of making such improvements as 
would render it in every respect equal to any daily paper published west 
of Toronto, a promise which they persistently,endeavored to fulfill, with 
great success. The only feature in the paper, indeed, which did not 
undergo a change, was in its unswerving support of the principles of the 
Conservative party, and in the consistent advocacy which it had always 
given of measures having for their aim the advancement of the people s 
rights and general good, and at the same time condemning with all the 
energy of integrity and partiotism, everything inimical to the popular 
weal. 

On Sunday, December I7th, the new edifice known as Chalmers 
church was opened for public worship, the sermons being preached by 
Rev. John Thompson, of Sarnia, and Rev. Dr. Waters, of St. Marys. 

On the defeat of the Sandfield Macdonald ministry in December, 
and the advent to power of the Reform party under the leadership of 
Mr. Edward Blake, Mr. P. Gow, member for South Wellington, was ap 
pointed Provincial Secretary. At the election on January 4th, 1872, Mr. 
Gow was re-elected without opposition. 

There was no contest for the Mayoralty in 1872, Mr. Richard 
Mitchell being re-elected by acclamation. Mr. James Massie was elected 
Reeve, and Messrs. G. Howard and G. A. Bruce, Deputy Reeves. The 
members of the Council were : East Ward Messrs. Win. Allan, J. P. 
MacMillan and J. Stewart. West Ward Messrs. R. W. Bell, J. McNeil 
and J. Crowe. South Ward Messrs. D. Kennedy, M. Snider and W. 
Stevenson. North Ward Messrs. Robert Mitchell, A. Robertson and 
John Hogg. 

The members of the County Council for the year were : Amaranth, 
Mr. W. B. Jelly. Arthur Village, Mr. A. Buschlen. Arthur Township, 
Mr. R. Stevenson, Mr. T. Flahiflf. Elora, Mr. H. Hamilton. Erin, Mr. 
D. McMillan, Mr. E. Johnson. Eramosa, Mr. J. Rea, Mr. J. McKerlie. 
Fergus, Dr. G. T. Ortor. Garafraxa East, Mr. R. Henderson, Mr. T. 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 151 

Hamilton. Garafraxa West, Mr. W. Gibson, Mr. S. Piper. Guelph 
Town, Mr. J. Massie, Mr. G. Howard, Mr. G. A. Bruce. Guelph Town 
ship, Mr. J. Laidlaw, Mr. E. Darby. Luther, Mr. W. Dawson, Mr. P. 
Hanson. Maryborough, Mr. H. Maudsley, Mr. J. Ogden. Minto, Mr. 
J. O : Connell, I\Jr. J. Pram. lUount Forest, Mr. J. Robinson; Nichol, 
Mr. J. Mair, Mr. J. Broadfoot. Orangeville, Mr. M. McCarthy. Peel, 
Mr. W. S. Sutherland, Mr. J. McManus, Mr. J. McGowan. Pilkington, 
Mr. H. Roberts, Mr. J. L. Brohmann. Puslinch, Mr. W. Leslie, Mr. W. 
Nicol. 

During the year two vacancies occurred in the Town Council, one 
by the death of Mr. Stewart, in whose place Mr. D. Coffee was elected, 
and the other by the retirement of Mr. McNeil, who was succeeded by 
Mr. George Elliott. 

In April a fire occurred in Messrs. Arms & Worswick s tool works 
on Suffolk street, by which the premises were entirely destroyed, and 
about forty men thrown out of employment. Mr. George A. Bruce s car 
riage factory, adjoining, was saved by the untiring energy of the firemen. 
At the Spring Assizes, Levi Gillies, convicted of an attempt to com 
mit rape, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, and receive thirty 
lashes on entering prison, thirty more at the expiration of a year, and 
thirty more a fortnight before the expiration of his term. Theophilus 
Coates, convicted of a similar offence, was sentenced to six months im 
prisonment and forty lashes. This was the first time the punishment of 
the lash was inflicted in this county. John Wilson, convicted of rape was 
sentenced to be hanged on the 2oth of June. The sentence was com 
muted to penal servitude for life. 

The corner stone of the new Baptist Church on Woolwich street, was 
laid on Monday, May yth, by Rev. Dr. Davidson. Among the ministers 
present were Rev. Mr. Mackie, pastor . of the church ; Rev. Dr. Fyfe, 
Rev. Messrs. Montgomery, Beamsville ; Gerrie, Elora ; Griffith, St. 
George ; Grant, Hillsburg, and Dr. Hurd, Brantford. 

I or some months an. effort had been made to introduce the system of 
nine hours labor, and in May a mass meeting was held, about 2,000 per 
sons being present, to consider the question, when a resolution was passed 
in favor of the movement, and in many instances it was afterwards 
adopted. 

An application having been made to the Town Council to grant the 
use of the main portion of the Exhibition building to the Sisters of Su. 
Joseph s Hospital for a picnic on June 24th, a majority of the Council 
decided to refuse it, and in a few days a monster mass meeting was held, 
at which the action of the Council was strongly condemned, and a reso 
lution passed asking them to rescind their resolution, which was done at 
a special meeting called to consider the matter. 

At the general election for the House of Commons, in August, 1872, 
Lt.-Col. Higinbotham was elected for the North Riding of Wellington, 
by a majority of 60 over Mr. G. A. Drew. In the Centre Riding Mr. 
James Ross was elected by a majority of 46 over Dr. Orton, and in the 
South Riding Mr. Stirton was re-elected by acclamation. 

The Central Exhibition, held October ist, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, was a 
magnificent success, the entries being much more numerous, and the at 
tendance much larger than in the previous year. It had been expected 
that Lord Dufferin would pay the town a visit during the week, but in that 
the people were disappointed. On the 3rd, however, Lt.-Governor How- 
land arrived in town, and was received in a most enthusiastic manner, 



162 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



addresses being presented by the Mayor and Corporation, by the Warden 
of Wellington, and by the Directors of the Central Exhibition. In the 
afternoon a lunch was given in the Town Hall, when addresses were de 
livered by the Lieut.-Governor, the Mayor and others. 

It being considered by many that the hospital accommodation in the 
town was insufficient, a number of prominent gentlemen took the matter 
in hand and a public meeting was called in November to consider the 
question. The chair was taken by Mr. James Massie, and addresses 
were delivered by Mr. Stirton, M. P., Revs. Messrs. Ball and Hogg, Drs. 
Herod, Keating, Clarke, Brock and McGuire, and Messrs. John Hors- 
man, John Harris, J. M. Bond, C. Raymond, F. W. Stone, John Hogg, A. 
Lemon, and others, after which preliminary arrangements were made for 
collecting subscriptions, and for making enquiries as to suitable sites, 
cost of buildings, &c. The movement was vigorously pushed forward, 
the result being that the present handsome and commodious building 
was erected, and a General Hospital established, second to none in any 
town of the size of Guelph in the Province. 

The municipal elections in January 1873, were unusually animated, so 
for as the wards were concerned. For the Mayoralty, Mr. Adam Rob 
ertson was returned with scarcely any opposition. For Reeve there were 
three candidates. Messrs. Massie, Goldie and Hatch, the first named 
being elected. For Deputy Reeves the candidates were Messrs. George 
Howard, F. J. Chadwick, D. Kennedy and J. P. Macmillan. Messrs. 
Howard and Chadwick were elected. For Councillors, in the North 
Ward there were six candidates, Messrs. John Hogg, Richard Mitchell 
and Robert Mitchell being elected. In the South Ward there were 
seven candidates, the successful ones being Messrs. T. A. Heffernan, D. 
Kennedy and T. Holliday. In the East Ward their were six candidates, 
and Messrs. J. Horsman, D. Coffee and Robt. Bell were elected. In the 
West Ward there were six candidates, those elected being Messrs. Geo. 
Elliott, J. C. Me Lagan and John Crowe. During the year Mr. Bell re 
signed his seat in the East Ward and Mr. C. Davidson defeated Mr. I). 
McCrae for the vacant position. 

The legal business of the County having become too large for the 
County Judge to attend to, Mr. Austin Cooper Chadwick, barrister, was 
appointed to the position of Junior Judge, the appointment being 
announced in the Gazette of January i8th. 

The members of the County Council for the year were : W. B. Jelly, 
Robert Stevenson, Alexander Fraser, Hugh Hamilton, John Rea, 
Duncan McMillan, Henry Michie, William Gibson, Robert Henderson, 
James Laidlaw, James Massie, William Dawson, John Prain, Robert 
Kilgour, John Mair, Maitland McCarthy, Hugh Roberts, Wm. Leslie, 
James Golden, Thomas Flahiff, William Duffield, John Berry, John 
Mitchell, Thomas Hamilton, Geo. Darby, F. J. Chadwick, G. Howard, 
Peter Hanson, T. B. Patterson, John H. Broadfoot, Jacob L. Brohman, 
William Nicol. Mr. John Mair was elected Warden. 

The new St. George s Church was opened for Divine worship on 
April 2oth, by the Bishop of Toronto. Among the clergymen who took 
part in the service were, Revs. J. G. Geddes, Hamilton, F. A. Bethune, 
Trinity College, Port Hope, and F. Alexander, Curate of the parish. 

A by-law for raising $30,000 for the use of the Board of School 
Trustees, principally for the building of the new Central School, was 
submitted in September, and carried by a fair majority. 

The Central Exhibition in 1873 was even more successful than that 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 153 

in the previous year. The number of entries >vas 5550, and the amount 
of prize money was about $8500. The attendance was very large and the 
exhibit, especially in the stock departments, exceedingly line. 

A sad accident occurred to Col. Saundei^ on the morning of October 
6th, resulting in his death a few days afterwards. He was driving into 
town in his own conveyance and while coming down Paisley street a run 
away team, attached to a heavy vehicle, dashed into his buggy, smashing 
it to pieces, and throwing Col. Saunders violently to the ground, by 
which he sustained a severe shaking, and while in an unconscious state 
he was kicked on the head by one of the horses. Col. Saunders was 78 
years of age, and had been Clerk of the Peace of the County since its 
foundation. He was also for some years Inspector of Inland Revenue, 
and occupied several other places of trust in the County under the 
Government. 

The dispute which had been pending between the Government and 
Mr. F. W. Stone, relating to the purchase of Moreton Lodge, and the farm 
on which it stood, having been at last satisfactorily settled, Mr. Stone 
offered most of his fine cattle for sale in October. There is no doubt 
that this was the largest sale of stock ever held in this country, and for 
quality, perhaps no finer collection was ever offered on this continent. 
The Government shortly afterwards took possession of the property, and 
converted it into a Model Farm and School of Agriculture, selling the 
land at Mimico, which had been intended for a similar purpose. 

The municipal officers for 1874 were : Mayor Mr. J. Harris. 
Reeve Mr. Geo. Howard. Deputy Reeves Messrs. C. Raymond and 
Geo. Hood. Councillors East Ward, Messrs. C. Davidson, D. Coffee 
and D. McCrae. West Ward Messrs. Geo. Elliott, Jno. Crowe and 
Geo. Bruce. North Ward Messrs. A. Robertson, E. Harvey and W. 
H. Mills. South Ward Messrs. A. B. Petrie, T. Heffernan and J. W. 
Hall. 

The members of the County Council for this year were : Amaranth 
Wm. B. Jelly, Jas. Golden. Arthur Township R. Stevenson, M. C. 
O Donnell. Arthur Village-;. F. Hollinger. Elora R. Dalby. Era- 
mosa J. Rea, W. Duffield. Erin D. McMillan, W. Teeter. Fergus 
M. Anderson. Garafraxa W. W. Gibson, John Mitchell. Garafraxa 
E. R. Henderson, Thos. Hamilton. Guelph Township J. Laidlaw, G. 
A. Darby. Guelph Town G. Howard, C. Raymond, G. Hood. Harris- 
ton J. Meiklejohn. Luther W. Dawson, P. Hanson. Maryborough 
Jas. Robb. Minto John Pram, M. G. Miller. Mount Forest J. Ro 
binson. Nichol John Mair, J. H. Broadfoot. Orangeville F. C. 
Stewart. Peel Jas. Cross, J. McManus, J. McGowan. Pilkington H. 
Roberts, Geo. Swan. Puslinch W. Leslie, W. Nichol. Mr. James 
Laidlaw was elected Warden. 

In the general election for the House of Commons, in January 1874, 
Mr. Stirton was re-elected for South Wellington, defeating Mr. Henry 
Hatch. In the Centre Riding Dr. Orton defeated Mr. R. McKim by 49 
votes, and in the North Riding Lt.-Col. Higinbotham was elected over 
Mr. Geo. A. Drew by 6 votes. 

When it became apparent that a contest was pending, Mr. McKim 
resigned his seat for North Wellington in the Ontario Legislature, to 
become a candidate for the Commons in Centre Wellington, and in the 
election which ensued for the Local House, Mr. John McGowan defeated 
Mr. E. J. O Callaghan, the Reform candidate, by a majority of 82. 

In April considerable excitement was caused in the town by the 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 



escape from the gaol of Samuel McLean, a mail clerk on the G. W. R., 
committed for trial for stealing money letters. The circumstances were 
of so suspicious a nature that an investigation was held by the Govern 
ment Inspector, which clearly showed that some friends had for some 
time been hoping for his escape, but nothing definite could be proved 
with regard to any outside complicity. At the ensuing Assizes, however, 
Hillen, the turnkey, was tried for aiding in the escape, but was found 
" not guilty. 

At the same Assizes, J ohn Dunn, alias Sullivan, was charged with 
having committed a most heinous crime, by assaulting a little girl, about 
six years of age, and the case being fully proved, he was sentenced to be 
hanged, but the sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life. Dur 
ing the month of April the town was shocked by the intelligence of two 
cases of suicide, one being that of Richard Howitt, who shot himself 
with his own gun, near his father s house, and the other that of Maurice 
Armour, who shot himself near the Exhibition grounds. 

In July the foundation stone of the new Methodist Church on Dub 
lin street was laid by Mr. James Hough. Among the ministers present 
were Revs. J. B. Howard and J. E. Lanceley, pastors of the church ; W. 
H. Poole, Toronto, and T. Wardrope, Guelph. The trustees were Messrs. 
Jno. B. Kelly, W.T.Chipchase, W. B. Clarke, J. H.Osborne, M. A. Keables, 
J. A. Davidson, R. S. King, John Jackson, jr., Hugh Hurley, G. O. Mad- 
dock, John McConnell, Alfred Smith, Wm. Wheatley, J. H. Bishop and 
W. H. Husband. 

In August the town was shocked by a lamentable tragedy. For 
some time a girl named Eliza Hazel had been" fading a life of crime, and 
to retain her she had been placed in the gaol, but on her release she re 
turned to her former companions. Her father happening to meet a young 
man and woman named Daniel Hurley and Mary Carver, and thinking 
them to be his daughter and a young man with whom she was intimate, 
fired at them, wounding Hurley in the head and Miss Carver in the 
cheek and neck. Hazel was tried at the Assizes, found guilty of shoot 
ing with intent to do grevious bodily harm, and sentenced to twelve 
months imprisonment. 

In the course of his tour of the Province, His Excellency, the Gov 
ernor General, visited Guelph in August, when loyal addresses were 
presented by Mayor Harris and by Mr. J. B. Armstrong, on behalf of 
the Directors of the Central Exhibition. 

In November the petition against the return of Dr. Orton for Centre 
Wellington was tried in Guelph, and resulted in the seat being declared 
vacant in consequence of corrupt practices by supporters, but the peti 
tioners failed to prove that Dr. Orton had any personal knowledge of 
such practices, and they therefore failed in their attempt to disqualify 
him. At the election which took place in January, 1875, Dr. Orton was 
again returned, defeating Mr. James Ross by 126 votes. The election of 
a member of the Local House for West Wellington also took place in 
January, Mr. J. McGowan being returned by a majority of 98 over Mr. 
McKim. 

The members of the Town Council for 1875 were : Mayor, Mr. R. 
Melvin ; Reeve, Mr. Geo. Howard ; Deputy Reeves. Messrs. Chas. Ray 
mond and D. McCrae. Councillors, East Ward, Messrs. Thos. Sayers, 
C. Davidson and D. Coffee. North Ward, Messrs W. H. Mills, C. Chase 
and A. Robertson. South Ward, Messrs. A. B. Petr^, T. A, Heffernan 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 155 

and J. P. MacMillan. West Ward, Messrs. John Crowe, George Bruce 
and George Murton, Sr. 

The County Council consisted of the following members : Amaranth, 
W. B. Jelly, James Golden. Arthur Township, Arthur Stevenson, M. C. 
O Donnell. Arthur Village, J. F. Hollinger. Clifford, A. S. Allan. 
Urayton, W. E. Wortley. Elora, R. Dalby. Eramosa, John Rea, M. 
Cummings. Erin, D.I McMillan, W. Teeter. Fergus, M. Anderson. 
Garafraxa West, W. Gibson, John Mitchell. Garafraxa East, R. Hen 
derson, Thos. Hamilton. Guelph Township, Jas. Laidlaw, Geo. Darby. 
Guelph Town, Geo. Howard, C. Raymond, D. McCrae. Harriston, A. 
Meiklejohn. Luther, W. Dawson. Maryboro , Jas. Robb, John Ogden. 
Minto, John Prain, M. G. Millar. Mount Forest, J. Robinson. Nicol, 
John Mair, J. H. Broadfoot. Orangeville, F. C. Stewart. Peel, James 
Cross, W. Harcourt. Pilkington, Hugh Roberts, Geo. Swan. Puslisch, 
W. Leslie, W. Nicol. Palmerston, W.Thomson. Mr. Jas. Laidlaw was 
re-elected Warden. 

Lieut-Col. Higinbotham having been unseated on account of bribery 
by agents, another election took place in March, when he was re-elected, 
defeating Mr. G. A. Drew by three votes only. 

On the night of Saturday, April loth, a large fire occurred at the sew 
ing machine factory of Mr. C. Raymond, the loss being about $20,000, 
and the insurance $16,000. Mr. Raymond at once commenced to re 
build, and in a few months the present factory, one of the finest in the 
Dominion, was erected. 

The assessment returns for the town, completed in April, showed the 
following figures : Population, 8,578 ; real property, $1,920,360; personal 
property and taxable income, $384,400. Total, $2,304,760. 

In June the trial of the petition for the unseating of Mr. John Mc 
Gowan, M. P. P. for West Wellington took place, and resulted in Mr. 
McGowan being unseated, on account of a case of treating by an agent, 
but Mr. McGowan was altogether exonerated from the personal charges 
of corrupt practices preferred. 

In August a charge of attempted murder was preferred against a young 
man named Wm. Marks. The accused, with Richard Yates and some 
others, had been out shooting, and on their way home had indulged 
rather freely in drink, and a dispute arose, some time after which, quite 
unexpectedly by any of the others, Marks fired his gun, shooting Yates. 
From the evidence given at the trial there was some doubt as to the 
shooting being intentional, and the sentence therefore was light nine 
months imprisonment. During the same, month Henry White," a colored 
man murdered his wife in Peel, by striking her on the head with a large 
piece of wood, and then throwing her into a well. He was sentenced to 
be hanged, and the execution took place Dec. 23rd. 

The election to fill the vacancy caused by the unseating of Mr. Mc 
Gowan, for West Wellington took place in September. The candidates 
were Mr. John McGowan, nominated by Mr. Thos. Swan, of Mount 
Forest, and seconded by Mr. Thos. McManus, of Peel ; and Mr. Thos. 
Garbutt, proposed by Mr. R. Stevenson, of Arthur, and seconded by Mr. 
T. Harcourt, of Peel. The result was that Mr. McGowan was re-elected 
by a vote of 1,238, against 1,210 for Mr. Garbutt. 

In October, His Honor Lt.-Governor Macdonald visited Guelph, 
when addresses were presented to him by the Mayor, the Warden and 
Mr. J. P. MacMillan, on behalf of Sister Alphonsus, of St. Joseph s Hos 
pital. During the day His Honor visited the Model Farm, St. Joseph s 



156 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

Hospital, the factory of Messrs. W. & R. Bell, the O shorn Sewing 
Machine factory, and several other places of interest, after which a lunch 
was given at the Royal Hotel, at which most of the principal residents of 
Guelph were present. 

During the same month the new Baptist church, of which Rev. Dr. 
Davidson is pastor, was opened, the sermons being preached by Rev. 
Dr. Fyfe and Rev. Wm. Stewart, of Hamilton. The Baptist missionary 
convention was held in the church at the same time. 

On Wednesday, November i/th, Rev. Alexander Dixon, B.A., Canon 
of Christ Church Cathedral, Diocese of Niagara, was inducted into the 
Rectory of St. George s Church, by Venerable Archdeacon McMurray, 
assisted by Rev. Rural Dean Thompson, of Elora. 

The new Town Hall was formally opened December loth, by a con 
cert, ball and supper, given by the St. Andrew s Society. The concert 
was, perhaps, the most largely attended ever given in Guelph, the well 
known Kennedy family supplying the entertainment. The ball and sup 
per were equallv successful, and reflected great credit on the society. 

The material progress of Guelph during the year was greater than 
in any previous year, the total value of the buildings erected, according 
to the list published in the HERALD, being little short of a quarter of a 
million dollars. This list included the new Town Hall and the new 
Central School, each of which stands unrivalled, for their respective 
uses, in the Province. 

The members of the Town Council for 1876 were : Mayor Mr. R. 
Melvin. Reeve Mr. Geo. Howard, ist Deputy Mr. D. McCrae. 
2nd Deputy Mr. D. Kennedy. 3rd Deputy-- Mr. Geo. Hood. Coun 
cillors : East Ward Messrs. T. Sayers, J. B. Armstrong and D. Kribs. 
North Ward Messrs. W. H. Mills, C. Chase and Dr. Herod. South 
Ward Messrs. A. B. Petrie, Geo. Sleeman and J. P. MacMillan. West 
Ward Messrs. W. Hart, Geo. Bruce and J. C. McLagan. 

The County Council was composed of the following members : 
Amaranth John Gillespie, Joseph Banks. Arthur T p. R. Stevenson, 
M. C. O Donnell. Arthur Vil. Alex. Fraser. Clifford Jas. Brown. 
Drayton Henry Deebel. Elora Robt. Dalby. Eramosa Jno. Rea, 
M. Cummins. Erin D. McMillan, J. W. Burt. Fergus M. Anderson. 
Garafraxa W. W. Gibson, J. J. Dobbin. Garafraxa E. W. H. Hunter, 
T. Hamilton. Guelph T p. Geo. Darby, M. Sweetnam. Guelph Town - 
Geo. Howard, D. Kennedy, Geo. Hood. Harriston J. Meiklejohn. 
Luther Wm. Dawson, Jas. McLuhan. Manboro Jas. Robb, Jno. 
Ogden. Minto John Prain, M. G. Millar. Mount Forest R. Kilgour. 
Nicol Jno. Mair, J. H. Broadfoot. Orangeville F. C. Stewart, Jas. 
Allen. Peel Jas. Cross, F. McManus, Thos. Whale. Palmerston- 
Jas. McEwing. Pilkington Hugh Roberts. Puslinch Wm. Leslie, 
Wm. Nicol. Mr. John Rea was elected Warden. 

The Government having decided to erect new buildings in Guelph 
for the Post Office, Inland Revenue Department, &c., considerable dis 
cussion ensued in the town in the month of March as to the best site to 
be selected, some recommending that the buildings should be placed on 
a portion of the Market Square, others that they should be erected at the 
corner of Woolwich and Wyndham Streets, while the majority favored 
the site of the old Wellington Hotel, on St. George s Square. This was 
finally recommended to the Government, and to cover the additional 
cost, a subscription having been taken up, it was ultimately decided upon, 
and the work was soon afterwards commenced. The amount voted by 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPII. 157 



the Government for the entire cost of the buildings, including the pur 
chase of the site, was $25,000, but the total cost will probably exceed 
$30,000. 

During the summer the erection of the new Masonic block, and the 
new Wellington Hotel was commenced, the result being that Guelph now 
possesses one of the finest blocks of stone buildings in the Dominion. 
The Masonic Hall is a magnificent structure, of which the Order gen 
erally may be justly proud, while the hotel is superior in all its arrange 
ments to most of the hotels in the large cities in Ontario. 

The assessment rolls for this year showed the following figures : 

Population 9017. Real property-^ $2,103,160. Personal property and 

taxable income $355,448. Non-resident land $39,890. Total $2,498,- 
498. 

In view of the fact that the next year would be fiftieth anniversary 
of the Town of Guelph and that St. George s Day was the day on which 
the first tree was cut here, a movement was set on foot for the reorgani 
zation of the Guelph St. George s Society, which had some few years 
since been allowed to drop out of existence. A meeting was accordingly 
held on Monday, April 24th, for this purpose, among those present being, 
Messrs. John Harvey, W. S. G. Knowles, Geo. Murton, T. Ellis, H. H. 
Swinford, Geo. Hirst, R. Parker, C. Chase, Geo. Robins, J. W. Smart, 
and C. Acton Burrows. After some discussion it was decided that the 
Society should be revived, and at a meeting held May 2nd, the following 
officers were elected: President, Mr. W. S. G. Knowles; ist Vice- Presi 
dent, Mr. Geo. Murton ; 2nd Vice-President, Mr. John Harvey ; 
Treasurer, Mr. Wm. Sunley ; Secretary, Mr. Wm. P. Rogers ; Chaplain, 
Rev. Canon Dixon ; Physician, Dr. G. S. Herod ; Committee, Messrs. H. 
J. Saunders, C. Chase, Geo. Robins, S. Myers, J. W. Smart, R. Parker, 
Thos. Ellis, E. Harrison, Geo. Tolton and W. Newport. 

By the death of Col. Wm. Kingsmill, which occurred May 6th, the 
postmastership of Guelph became vacant, and in a few days Mr. David 
Stirton, who resigned his seat in the House of Commons for the purpose, 
was appointed to the position. The contest for the vacant seat was a 
very spirited one, the candidates being Mr. D. Guthrie, Reformer, and 
Mr. James Goldie, Protectionist. Mr. Duncan McMillan, of Erin, was 
first chosen as the Protectionist candidate, but he soon afterwards with 
drew, and at the last moment Mr. Jas. Goldie was induced to run. The 
result was that Mr. Guthrie was elected by a vote of 1366 to 1228, 
though there can be no doubt that had Mr. Goldie been in the field 
sooner he would have been elected by a handsome majority. 

The ceremony of planting the cross and turning the first sod of the 
foundation of the new Roman Catholic Church, took place July loth. 
His Lordship Bishop Crinnon, of Hamilton, officiating, accompanied by 
about twenty-five priests of the diocese. Rev. Father Dowling delivered 
an eloquent and impressive address, exhorting those present to do all in 
their power for the completion of the work commenced under such favor 
able circumstances. 

The Mayor having declared August 9th, a civic holiday, and this 
beir.g the day appointed for a monster Conservative picnic, at Kinnettles, 
a great many of the citizens availed themselves of the opportunity to go 
to Fergus to hear an address from Sir John A. Macdonald. On his way 
to Fergus the Right Hon. gentleman visited Guelph, when an address 
was presented to him by the Liberal Conservative Association of the 
town, to which he made a suitable reply in the Town Hall. 



158 THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 

On August i Qth another of the few remaining early settlers was re 
moved by the death of Sheriff Grange. Mr. Grange came to Guelph in 
the year 1834, and after having been in active business for some years, 
was, in 1840, appointed sheriff, which office he filled till the time of his 
death. In 1852 he became heir to a large fortune, bequeathed to him by 
a relative in Ireland, and he afterwards entered largely into real estate 
transactions, in Guelph, Toronto, Berlin and Stratford. Since his arrival 
in the town he had always taken a deep interest in all public matters, 
and no man, perhaps, did more to advance the interests of the town and 
county than he did. The funeral was one of the most numerously at 
tended ever witnessed in Guelph, gentlemen from all parts of the Province 
being present on the occasion. 

In September, Mr. Peter Gow, M.P.P., resigned his seat for South 
Wellington, in the Ontario Legislature, and accepted the Shrievalty of 
Wellington, vacant by the death of Sheriff Grange. At the election 
which followed, Mr. James Massie was elected by acclamation. 

By the list published in the HERALD in November, it appears that the 
total value of the buildings erected in the Town in 1876, was $288,000, a 
rate of progress not equalled by any town in the Dominion, in propor 
tion to its size. 

The contest for the Mayoralty in 1877 was very keen. The candi 
dates were Mr. F. J. Chadwick and Mr. Geo. Howard, and from the fact 
that the friends of Mr. Howard had been able to place him in the posi 
tion of Reeve at the previous election, and that they were thoroughly 
organized and determined to carry their man, they felt sure of victory. 
The event, however, was a complete disappointment for them, Mr. Chad- 
wick being returned by a majority of 219, the largest ever given to a May 
or in this town. Mr. Geo. Hood was elected Reeve, and Messrs. W. 
Hart, Geo. Sleeman and J. P. MacMillan, Deputy Reeves. The mem 
bers of the Council are -.East Ward Messrs. D. Coffee, Joseph HetTer- 
nan and A. Dunbar. South Ward Messrs. F. Gauhan, J. Lamprey and 
J. T. Cunningham. West Ward Messrs. George Elliott, J. C. McLagan 
and T. Gowdy. North Ward Messrs. F. Biscoe, \V. Hearn and W. H. 
Mills. 

The County Council consist of the following gentlemen : Guelph 
Town, George Hood, Wm. Hart, George Sleeman, J. P. MacMillan. 
Guelph Township, G. A. Darby, M. Sweetnam. Elora, H. Hamilton. 
Orangeville, John Foley, James Allan, Mount Forest, J. McMullen. 
Fergus, M. Anderson. Arthur Village, Alexander Frazer. Clifford, G. 
Macdonald. Harrison, A. Meiklejohn. Palmerston, W. Thomson. Erin, 
J. W. Burt, Chas. McMillan. Eramosa, John Rea, Geo. Duffield. Minto, 
J. T. Prain, M. Bateman. Peel, J. Molloy, J. Harcourt, T. Whale. West 
Garafraxa, W. Gibson, J. J. Dobbin. East Garafraxa, W. H. Hunter, 
A. Baker. Puslinch, W. Leslie, Wm. Nicol. Arthur Township, R. 
Stevenson. Drayton, J. Landerkin. Luther, James McLuhan, W. Lux- 
ton. Maryboro , H. Maudsley, Wm. Long. Amaranth, J. Gillcspie, J. 
Banks. Pilkington, Hugh Roberts. Nicol, John Mair. J. Broadfoot. 
Mr. John Rea was re-elected Warden. 

On January 26th, most of the members of the Legislature of On 
tario visited Guelph, for the purpose of seeing the town and inspecting 
the Model Farm. On their arrival Mr. Speaker Wells was presented 
with addresses by His Worship Mayor Chadwick, Mr. John Rea, War 
den of the County, the Board of School Trustees, &c., after which the 
visitors drove to the Model Farm and round the town. A fitting enter- 



THE ANNALS OF THE TOWN OF GUELPH. 159 

tainment was provided for them in the Town Hall, where speeches were 
delivered by the Speaker, some of the leading members of the House, 
the Mayor, the Warden and some of the prominent citizens of the town 
and county. 

The members of the Presbyterian Churches, and the citizens gener 
ally, were, on March 3rd, called upon to mourn the removal, by death, 
of Rev. Dr. Hogg, pastor of St. Andrew s Church. For eighteen years 
the rev. gentleman had been identified with the religious and educational 
interests of the town, and had, by his undeviating devotion to the welfare 
of the church and the town generally, won for himself the warmest re 
gards of every person with whom he had been brought in contact. His 
funeral was largely attended, many persons being present from Hamilton, 
Gait and other places where he had been well known and highly es 
teemed. 

The 23rd of April of this year being the $oth anniversary of the cut 
ting of the first tree on the site of the town, steps were taken by the St. 
George s Society to secure a fitting celebration of the day. At a meeting 
of the Society on January 25th, a committee was appointed, with Mr. C. 
Acton Burrows as chairman, to make the necessary arrangements. The 
society will hold a dinner in the Town Hall on the evening of the day, 
which will no doubt be largely attended. In the inaugural address 
delivered by His Worship Mayor Chadwick, on taking his seat in the 
civic chair, he recommended that the anniversary be celebrated in a 
manner befitting its importance, and that a special committee be ap 
pointed to carry out the arrangements. This proposition being favorably 
entertained by the Council, a special committe was appointed, with Mr. 
George Elliott as chairman. At a special meeting of the Council on 
April 1 2th, a grant was made towards the expenses of the celebration 
and as the St. George s, St. Patrick s, St. Andrew s and the Caledonian 
Society have promised to co-operate with the Council, there is no doubt 
such arrangements will be made for the due celebration of the clay, that 
it will be long remembered, and when, perchance, some person may 
write "The Annals of the Town of Guelph," not in the year of jubilee, 
but in the centennial year, the occasion may be referred to as one of the 
most pleasing in the entire history. 



GUELPH ADVERTISEMENTS. 



161 



SHEET METAL WORKS 



ALMA BLOCK, 99 WYNDHAM STREET, 



OHSTT-A-IRIO. 



MARTIN & CAMERON 



MANUFACTURERS OF 



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CO 

a. 



O Q 

* 



O S 



Q Q 

U^ 9* 

N < 

mem 

O 

o 

5 
a 



o 



GQ 

P 



h=> 

O 



w 

m 






o 

E 

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cp 



3D 



Stoves, Tin and Copper Ware, Force and 
Cistern Pumps, Iron Sinks, Lamps, 

Coal Oil, &c. 



TJS 



162 GUELPH ADVERTISEMENTS. 



WATCH, CLOCK AND JEWELLERY 

ESTABLISHMENT, GUELPH. 

(FOUNDED IN 1848.) 



This is the place to get a good, reliable GOLD OR SILVER WATCH, 
a Clock, or anything in the Jewellery or Electro-Plate line. 

Plain Gold Rings, Hair Rings, Gents Signet Rings, Gold 
Mounted Hair Guards, Cuff Buttons, &c., 

made to order by a first-class working Jeweller. 

^ 

Watches, Clocks, and Jewellery repaired 

I1V XONK I!UT FIRST-CLASS \VORU MAN. 

Electro-Plating and Engraving done on the shortest notice. 

B. SAVAGE, Proprietor. 



BANK OF COMMERCE, 

HEAD OFFICE, - - - TORONTO. 

Paid-up Capital, - $6,OOO,OOO 

Reserve 1,900,000 

DIRECTORS. 
HON. WM. McMASTER, President. 

HON. ADAM HOPE, Vice-President. 

Noah Barnhart, Ksq. James MidnV, Esq. F. W. Cumberland Esq. 

T. Sutherland Stayner, Eiq. \Villium Kliiot. I ( l. or-. r- Taylor. i,sq. 

lohn I . Anitvii. lv..]. 
W. N. ANDERSON, << n<*aJ -Manager. J. 11. I LL M.vIKli. [nspei t..r. 

NEW YOKK J. G. Harper arid J. II. L. _ui1.-y, A 

CHICAGO J. G. Orchard, Agent. 

BRANCHES. V 

Barrie, Brantford, Cayuga, Chatham, Collingwpod, Dundas, Gait, Goderich, Guelph, Hamil 
ton, London., Lucan, Montreal, tOrangeville, Ottawa, Paisley Peterboro , St. Catharines, Sar- -. 
nia, Srmcoe, Stratford, Strathroy, Thorold, Toronto, Trenton, Walkerton, Windsor, Woodstock. * 

Commercial credits issued for use in Europe, the East and West Indies, China, Japan and 
South America. 

Sterling and American Exchange bought and sold. 

Collections made on the most favorable terms. 

Interest allowed on deposit Receipts and Savings Bank Deposits. 

BANKERS. 

New York The American Exchange National Bank. London, England, Bank of Scotland 
OEFICE IN GUELPH Corner of Wyiulham Street and Market Square. 

G. W. SANDILANDS, WILLIAM SMITH, 

Local Director. Manager. 



GUELPH ADVERTISEMENTS. 



163 




W. BELL & CO. 

MANUFACTURERS OF 



ORGANS & ORGANETTES 



o- 



Silver Medal at Ontario Provincial Exhibition for 1871. 
Silver Medal at CENTENNIAL EXHIBITION for 1876, 

45ir AH Instiuments guaranteed for five years. 



164 GUELPH ADVERTISEMENTS. 



SILVER CREEK BREWERY 



GKEO. SLEEMAN, 

BREWER AND MALTSTER, 

"W-A-TIEIRILOO -A.~V:EIsrTJ:n]., 



Best quality of Ales, Porter and Lager Beer 

IN STOCK. 



HARTJ & SPEIRS, 

LAND, LOAIl &EIERAL ft IMRAUGE AGENTS, 



CONVEYANCERS, &c., 

No. 11 Day s Block, Guelpli. 



Loans negotiated. Money always on hand for Mortgage and first-class 
personal security. Fire and Life Risks taken in A i Companies. 

,-- Office of Guelph White Lime Company. 

ROBERT PARKER, 

MACDONNELL STREET, GUELPH, 

Has been in business 12 years, and in Guelph 24 
years, always working at the business, which gives him 
the experience that is required in carriage I making. 
He is stilljcarrying on the business at the old stand, 
Macdonnell Street, where the public, can;, see and 
examine his stock, and judge for themselves. 




He has always on hand a good stock of Buggies, Market Wagons, Sleighs and Cutters, of the 
latest styles, and has the name of selling cheapTor cash. 



GUELPH ADVERTISEMENTS. 



165 



JOHN HORSMAN, 







HARDWARE MERCHANT 



This House was opened on the I4th April, 1857, and does more business 
than all the rest put together. John Horsman is the sole proprietor 
and needs no one to go into Company with him to help to 
bolster him up. His Stock is always large, well- 
assorted and cheap. 



BURR & SKINNER, 

Manufacturers and Wholesale & Retail Dealers in 










SCHOOL FURNITURE A SPECIALITY. 

\Vareroom 97 Wyndham St. Factory -Cor. Glasgow & Oxford Sts. 

, OUSTT. 



JOHN HARRIS, 

IB.A.:K::E:R,, o o ^ IF E OTIOSE IE?, _A.isr:D 

MAR KETSQU A RE y CUELPH. 



MacMILLAN & O CONNOR 



BARRISTERS, &c. 



OFFICE OVER BANK: OF COMMERCE. 



JOHN P, MacMILLAN, 



EDWARD O CONNOR. 



166 



GUELPH ADVERTISEMENTS. 



SODA WATER & ICE CREAM. 



W. J. LITTLE 



HAS NOW IN OPERATION HIS FIRST-CLASS 



where the lovers of that delightful beverage can quench their thirst 

at all times. 

His Ice Cream is also delicious. 

Bread, Cakes & Confectionery constantly on hand. 

Public Dinners provided in elegant style and at the lowest possible rates. 

~W~. J". LITTLE, 

Upper Wyndham Street, Guelph. 

OOSSITT S 

AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKS 







genuine FARMER S FRIEND GANG PLOW, patented 
March 1875. Send for circular and terms. 

L. COSSITT, 

Manufacturer of Gang Plows, Fanning Mills, Horse Turnip Seed Drills, 
Horse and Hand Power Feed Cutters, Lawn Mowers, Horse Pokes, &c. 



i il F.LPH ADVERTISEMENTS. 



GUELPH SEWING MAGH 







THE 





SEWING 




Having been awarded CENTENNIAL MEDALS and 

DIPLOMA and MEDAL in Canadian Award 

at the PHILADELPHIA CENTENNIAL 

INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION 

in 1876 and Certificate of the 

Centennial Judges for 

Simplicity and 

Adaptability" 

May be taken as a guarantee that they are deserving of the public ronii 
dence, which is no\v universally accorded them. 

We Claim that our Hand Shuttle Machine 

has no equal. 

(. - \\\. ASK J INSPECTION. 

Every Machine warranted to give satisfaction on every descriptioH of 
\vork. GIVK US A TRIAL, PLEASE. 

WILKiE & OSBORN, 

Manufacturers, Cfuelpb, Ontario, Canada. 



fiUEU H AUVF.kTTSKMKNTS. 



GOLDSMITH HALL, CUELPH 



THE OLD v v Fo ^>^^fe POST OFFICE. 




SIGN OF THE LARGE CLOCK 

Is the spot to get supplied with WATCIIKS, CLOCKS, JKWKLLRRY. 
SILVER PLATK. c, at bottom price. 

If yen want correct time get cne of 

S TKI STWOKTIIY VTUTIBES 



In silver rases, lYop.i $10 to $40. in gold cases, from $3010 $150, War 

ranted for t\vo years. 

Jobbing, Engraving, Gold and Silver Plating done as before. 



CHAKCKS MODKKATE. 



HOOD & McHARDY, 

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL BUTCHERS 

STALL NO. 1, GUELPH MARKET. 

/ \___ __ 

i lave always on hand a large and good supply of 

Fresh and Salt Meats, Poultry, &c., 

All order-, promptly uttcndc-d to, and inc.it lU-livcrrJ to uny pun of tlu- tr>wn. 



MITCHELL S HOTEL, 

Market Square, Cuelph. 

This Hotel has now been thoroughly refitted and repaired* 
and every accommodation can now be afforded for 

Travellers and permanent Boarders. 

The liar is supplied with all kinds of Wines, Liquors and Cigars of the 

choicest descriptions, selected yvith great care. Convenient and 

roomy stables, and an attentive hostler. 

> A , ARCHIBALD MITCHELL, 

( iiielph, April, ;i;-. 



GtJELPH ADVERtiSEMEMS. 169 



CHAS. RAYMO 

MANUFACTURER OF 



LOCK-STITCH & CHAIN STITCH 

SEWING MACHINES 

TO WORK BY HAND OR FOOT POWER. 
G-TJEIJPIEI. 



M. J. DORAN, 

IMPORTER OF 

Teas, Sugar*, Famil.v 4*ro< eries, Best Wines d Liquors, 

&c., &c, 
Best Garden and Field Seeds always on hand in Season. 

AgMit f.ir j-.it. -hi llnni. r.-v :in.l c-xtra refined Oil, 

*CASH PAID Fuk FARM PRODUCE.*^ 

-, suld Cheap for Ciai.h and dcli-.cred to ail purt:. uf tin- Town and Stations fice of charge. 

WEST MARKI T SIJCARE, GUELPH. 



W. M. FOSTER, L.D.S., 

DENTIST. 

Office over W. G. Smith & Go s. Drug Store, 
CORNER MACDONNELb & WYNDHAM GT 

CUELPH, ONT. 



170 GUELPri AD\ Kki l-K \1KNTS. 



THE FASHIONABLE WEST EM> 

Dress-Making and Millinery Establishment 

87 Upper Wyndham Street, Guelph. 

SPECIAL I>I.-:I ,\KTMI-:.\TS : 

SILKS AND DRESS GOODS, MANTLES AND MILLINERY, 
GLOVES AND HOSIERY, FANCY GOODS, 

STAPLES, ETC. 

The Fashionable \\\-sl Kiul i^ the leading house- in tlie trade, patronized by every lady in the 

town of ( .u<-l]>h and surrounding country. 



.. O. 

JKashionaLle West Knd Dress. Mantle and Millinery Establishment. 



CITY HOTEL,, 

(LATE THORP S) 
Opposite the Grand Tuunk Passenger Station, 



JOHN HAUCH, Proprietor, 

Excellent Sample Room for Commercial Men. Free Omnibus to and 

from all trains for Guests. 

Good Stabling and Livery in connection. 



HR,OIsr 



All Kinds of CASTINGS made to order. 

STOVES O- THE LATEST PATTERNS always in Stock, also Cistern and 
Force Pumps. T.n, Copper and Sheet Ironwares at lowest prices. 

W. H. MILLS. 



ROBERT MITCHELL, 

Attorney at Law, Solicitor in Chancery A: Insolvency 9 

Notary Public, Commissioner, fee- 
Day s Block, opposite Horsman s Store, Guelph. 
Money to lend in sums to suit borrowers. 



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LIBRARY^ 

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